CRANFORD, N.J. — Two women are facing charges for allegedly running a “fight club” at a New Jersey day care.
Investigators say Erica Kenny, 22, and Chanese White, 28, encouraged preschoolers and kindergartners to fight each other on the playground, while referencing the movie “Fight Club.”
“About a dozen children — boys and girls between the ages 4 and 6 — just fighting; throwing each other to the ground; hitting each other,” said Union County Prosecutor Grace Park.
Kenny allegedly recorded the fights and sent them to a group of people on Snapchat, a social site that allows pictures and videos to disappear after 10 seconds. But investigators were able to view the video after someone recorded it.
“We don’t believe there were any serious injuries at this point, but we are still investigating the case,” Park said.
Neighbors of Chanese White were stunned.
“It’s unbelievable – God, it’s unbelievable,” said Rev. James Smith.
“She was very nice, but you don’t really know anybody, really,” said neighbor Betty Farinelli.
Lightbridge Academy released a statement regarding the incident.
“As parents and caregivers, we are shocked and saddened by this isolated incident and we have assisted the prosecutor’s office from the start of its investigation into this matter,” Lightbridge Academy said in a statement. “While no children were physically harmed during this incident, 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.”
Both women have been fired from Lightbridge Academy.
Kenny and White are accused of child abuse. Kenny also faces charges of endangering the welfare of a child.
White faces up to 18 months in prison, while Kenny could get up to five years.