The parents of a 4-year-old boy are suing two New Jersey daycare workers who reportedly made children participate in a Fight Club inspired incident on at least one occasion in 2015.
NJ Advance Media reports that in 2015, Erica Kenny (pictured left), 22, and Chanese White (pictured right), 28, were charged with fourth-degree child abuse after reportedly making several children, between the ages of 4 and 6, fight each other at the Lightbridge Academy daycare center in Cranford.
According to Union County Prosecutor, Grace Park, the staged fights took place on at least one day in August 2015, followed by Kenny filming the incident and sending a portion of it out via Snapchat, while reading quotes from a book that was made into the movie, The Fight Club.
An unnamed parent, whose child was enrolled at the center, said that both workers were too laid back and didn’t speak well to the children.
“There wasn’t a lot of structure. They were very laid back. You kind of got the picture right away that there wasn’t going to be this great level of education, that it was really more of a day care than a learning environment.”
Another parent, who identified herself as Danielle Frost, told NJ Advance Media that her son attended Kenny and White’s class during 2013-2014, when he was 4.
“It’s really freaking me out at the moment. 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.”
While some parents said that their children liked their teachers, the parents of another child decided to sue the daycare workers, along with daycare center itself. The lawsuit claims that the 4-year-old, who now goes to therapy, suffered “severe emotional distress” after witnessing and participating in the fights. In March, another family filed a similar lawsuit against the daycare center. Both families are seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
Although a Lightbridge Academy official said that the company hasn’t yet seen the latest lawsuit, they did fire the daycare workers when they first heard complaints from other parents about the incident. They released a statement shortly after.
“As parents and caregivers, we are shocked and saddened by this isolated incident,” said Brenda Febbo, Lightbridge Academy’s vice president of marketing and sales. “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.”
[Feature Photo: Police Handout]