A Missouri mother is speaking out because she feels not enough was done when her 4-year-old son was put into a “fight club” at daycare.
According to Fox 2, the incident occurred in December 2016 at Teachers at Adventure Learning Center in St. Louis.
Nicole Merseal had a 4-year-old enrolled at preschool there at the time and a 10-year-old son in a class for older students.
It was her younger son’s birthday when the facility’s heater broke, prompting daycare workers to try and find a way to entertain the kids.
That’s when at least two teachers started a “fight club” that lasted for at least 30 minutes. It was captured on school security footage and filmed on an iPad by Merseal’s older son.
She discovered what was going on when the 10-year-old texted her the video. The mom told Fox 2 that her son warned the “daycare was making them fight, not helping them.”
In the clip, one teacher puts “Hulk” gloves on students as the other jumps and encourages them to fight.
At least one preschooler steps in and tries to break it up, but the teachers do not. Merseal’s 4-year-old can be seen crying after fighting with other students.
As soon as the mother saw the video, she called the director to step in. The fight was stopped and the two teachers were immediately fired. The child abuse hotline was also called.
However, the daycare center was allowed to continue operating. State regulators just made more inspections.
The mother said the fighting had a lasting effect on her younger son. She said:
“He doesn`t understand why his friends were fighting him — why he was beaten up by his best friends. And it was on his 4th birthday…
When we chose a new daycare for him and he started going he asked me in the car if they were going to make him fight.”
She wants more to be done about the incident, even though it’s been two years. Merseal said:
“I want them to be held accountable and I don`t want this to happen to any other child.”
State inspections since the incident have uncovered at least 26 other violations, including rough handling of students by teachers.
It’s unclear if the state intends to take action, but Merseal hopes that someone does.