Day care workers ran ‘Fight Club’ for kids, cops say
Authorities say two New Jersey daycare workers ran a "Fight Club" for young children — recording kids as young as 4 years old shoving and trying to hit one another.
The Union County Prosecutor's Office has charged two former employees at Lightbridge Academy in Cranford with child abuse. The charges stem from allegations they instigated fights among children between the ages of 4 and 6 at the facility.
Both 22-year-old Erica Kenny of Cranford and 28-year-old Chanese White of Roselle are charged with fourth-degree child abuse. Kenny also faces a child endangerment charge. Kenny is also accused of recording the fights and sharing them on social media.
"It's really pretty alarming behavior. The allegations talk about conduct where a parent of a day care center would be truly troubled because they entrust these day care workers to take care of their children, and these workers breached that trust," said Acting Union County Prosecutor Grace Park.
According to authorities, the pair allegedly instigated fights among children at the Lightbridge Academy on at least one occasion in August. In video clips obtained by authorities, approximately a dozen boys and girls can be seen shoving each other to the ground and attempting to hit each other while one of the accused workers references the activity as "Fight Club," quoting from the movie and book of the same name.
"What our investigation revealed was that, in particular, one of the day care workers referenced 'Fight Club' as how she was describing the activity that they (the children) were engaged in," Park said. "It's something that no parent expects to see at their day care facility."
The acting prosecutor said this type of behavior will not be tolerated.
"We don't tolerate videotaping and encouraging this type of behavior among children and then also distributing those videos," Park said.
Kenny and White are expected to appear in court for first appearances on Friday. Park said she does not expect any additional charges.
The prosecutor's office said none of the children involved in the altercations are believed to have suffered any serious injuries.