Daycare teachers allegedly forced toddlers as young as four to fight each other
The two teachers present at the time of the incident were fired from Adventure Learning Center in St Louis, Missouri after allegedly encouraging the students to fight each other
Warning: Distressing content
Horrific footage has emerged showing toddlers pummeling each other in a ring as cheering teachers encourage them and do nothing to break up the fighting.
The shocking video has been made public and one of the victim's mother is suing the St. Louis daycare center for an estimated £19,500. The footage was filmed at the Adventure Learning Center in St Louis, Missouri around two years ago, a lawsuit stated. The victim's mother Nicole Merseal’s son who was then four years old was seen crying in pain on CCTV.
The little child was told to fight his friends by cheering teachers. Nicole told ABC News, "My son was very afraid. He didn’t understand why his best friends beat him up. I don’t know any parent that could watch their children go through this and not be upset". Nicole's 10-year-old child recorded the video on an iPad showing his younger brother crying after three fights.
The toddlers can be seen wearing huge green "Hulk Hogan" boxing gloves while a teacher is seen inappropriately jumping up and down excitedly as the young children beat up each other.
Nicole told KTVI news that she was unable to sit through the video without crying, especially as her son got pummeled by his friends "on his fourth birthday". The video begins with one child immediately falling to the floor after taking a punch to the head. As he struggles to get up, his opponent very aggressively pins him down and continues to beat him.
Not one adult present stepped in to break up the fight or stop the violence even as one brave classmate tries to stop the fight. However, he was not strong enough to do so. Nicole revealed that her older son sent her the video and she had to call the director to halt the fighting. The cameras at the daycare recorded at least 30 minutes of continuous fights.
Nicole also shared that the CCTV should have been looked at by staff and someone could have intervened and stopped the fight earlier. Nicole's son can be seen wiping tears from his face continuously. A staff member pauses to tell him he will be okay before patting him on the back and joining back in enjoying the violence.
According to a police report, the director fired both the teachers and also called the child abuse hotline. Merseal added that she wanted the staff to be "held accountable [as] I don’t want this to happen to any other child". As per the state's documents, the teachers had allowed the fight as they were "bored".