The Short of It
In yet another disturbing daycare story, two former employees at a New Jersey day care were charged with child abuse after allegedly starting a kiddie version of "Fight Club" at the childcare center involving children as young as age 4.
If you've seen the movie Fight Club, you can picture the mini version right now. It seems two (now former) employees at Lightbridge Academy in Cranford, New Jersey, thought fighting outweighed finger painting. Children ages 4 to 6 were reportedly encouraged to tussle—and one of the child care providers is said to have videotaped the pushing and shoving and shared the clips on social media. (Even more shocking: Such "fight clubs" have been reported at several other day care centers across the country!)
While the kids—thankfully—didn't get injured, the two workers have both been charged with child abuse, and one faces the more serious chanrge of child endangerment.
Union County prosecutors are investigavting the case, and the day care center is cooperating. It has also apologized. "As parents and caregivers, we are shocked and saddened by this isolated incident," Brenda Febbo, vice president of sales and marketing for Lightbridge Academy, told NJ.com. "We have a zero tolerance policy for anyone who acts in conflict with the core value of Lightbridge Academy—the safety and well being of children." Parents, meanwhile, are still understandably upset. "It's really freaking me out at the moment," mom Danielle Frost said. "I want to go home and ask my son if he saw anything like this. He came home with a broken finger once, and now I'm worried about what happened while he was there."
This news is shocking. Kids are supposed to be nurtured in day care—not encouraged to fight. (In fact, that stereotypical fear that day care makes kids aggressive has been found to be false!). Where were the other employees at the day care when these fight club incidents were happening? It's good that the center has apologized and is cooperating. But as for the two former employees? They could be facing serious jail time, and I can't say I'm sorry.