A disturbing video taken at a St. Louis daycare shows toddlers punching each other in a ring as the adults in the room encourage the violent fighting. The December 2016 incident is being described as a "daycare fight club" and the mother who obtained the video is now suing the school.
Nicole Merseal says one of her her sons, who was 10 years old at the time, filmed the fighting with his iPad, KTVI reports. Her son was worried about his little brother, who was in the next room being beaten up by his classmates. He began filming the bizarre fighting and sent the video to Merseal.
The video shows a child wearing hulk fists and punching another boy in the head as a teacher jumps up and down in excitement. Another teacher is also present in the video, and is seen putting the toy fists on a child and teeing him up for a fight.
The only person seen trying to stop the fighting is another preschooler. A toddler gets knocked to the ground and repeatedly punched in the head by a classmate. Merseal said her son, who turned four that day, was crying in the video.
"He doesn't understand why his friends were fighting him. Why he was beaten up by his best friends," Merseal said.
Both teachers in the video were fired, according to a police report, KTVI reports. Inspections of the Adventure Learning Center were increased after the incident, and other violations were found. Merseal, however, believes more has to be done.
"I want them to be held accountable and I don't want this to happen to any other child," the mother told KTIV. She is now suing the school.
Merseal said she immediately contacted the director of the preschool after receiving the video her older son took. Although both teachers were fired, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office declined to prosecute, and the daycare continued to operate, according to KTVI.
Merseal said two years later, she still cries when she watches the video. She is now struggling to making her young son realize that fighting at school is not widely accepted. "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," the mother told KTVI.
The mother is suing the daycare for more than $25,000 ABC reports. "If I'm not a voice for my children, who will be?" she told the network.
Someone at the daycare hung up the phone when a CBS News reporter called Wednesday morning.