Mom Sues Daycare Center After Teachers Encouraged Preschool 'Fight Club'

A mother in St. Louis, Missouri is suing her child's daycare after video caught the center's teachers encouraging the young children to fight. Mother Nicole Merseal originally filed a lawsuit back in 2016, when her then 4-year-old son was shown fighting in the video. But she says not enough has been done to fix the issue.

Teachers Mickala Guliford and Tena Dailey of the Adventure Learning Center were both shown in the video encouraging the kids to fight each other. Immediately after the release of the video, both teachers were fired from their jobs at the daycare.

"My son was very afraid," Merseal said. "He didn't understand why his best friends beat him up. These are children that he's been around for a couple years. He described them as his best friends. He just doesn't understand why they punched him in the face. ... I don't know any parent that could watch their children go through this and not be upset."

After seeing the video, Merseal said she immediately called the police and requested an investigation.

"When I got the video, I was just in complete shock. I immediately left work," she said. "I also called the day care immediately and told them to go stop the fighting."

According to documents released after the director and staff interviews, the teachers had claimed they "ran out of things to do," and the children were just bored. So they started a 'fight club'.

"It happened a lot of times," one child said, according to the documents.

The St. Louis Department of Health and Senior Services lead an investigation into the incident, and later released this statement:

"Upon learning of the incident, the facility director fired the two staff, reported the incident to the proper authorities, and wrote an incident report to document the information," the statement reads. "The facility also informed parents about the incident and the actions taken."

But Merseal didn't think that that was enough.

"They gave them a slap on the wrist," she said.

Merseal said she is now requesting $25,000 in damages from the daycare center.

"It took a long time for him to be comfortable in his new day care and to understand that they won't make him fight... It's really sad that he had to go through this," she said.

Read the full report on ABC 7.

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