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New Jersey Camp Counselors Fired For Allegedly Forcing Kids To Sit In Scorching Heat As Punishment

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Three New Jersey summer camp counselors have been fired after allegedly disciplining young children outside in the hot summer sun.

Temperatures reached into the 90's on Monday, so one can only imagine how hot the black top got for a group of campers in Ocean County.

A mother says her son felt that heat first hand at the Toms River Youth Services Camp. Sandra Rodriguez Santora posted on Facebook alleging her son was forced to sit on the blacktop as punishment this week. Santora said on social media her child suffered second degree burns from the hot ground.

(Credit: CBS2)

Her neighbor Jaqueline Pascual called the situation involving six to 11 year-olds horrific.

"As a parent we turn your children over to individuals so we can go to work, confident in those individuals that they're going to take good care of our children. It's a hard thing to have to leave your kids and go to work but that's reality," Pascual said.

Toms River Township officials would not go on camera to talk about the incident, CBS2's Meg Baker was told the counselors involved have been fired.

The case is being investigated by the state division of child protection and permanency. In her post, Santora called the situation child endangerment. Others in the area were shocked to hear about it.

"I can imagine the kids were in pain the whole time. You can't put kids on hot blacktop like that," Nat Amadeo said.

Pascual questioned if the teen counselors were given any training.

"The director should be held responsible."

Her children attend other camps in town. She's taught them to ask to call home if a situation doesn't seem right.

"I ask them if they could help me in some way and if there was an adult that I could use their phone to call my mom," 11 year-old Jake Martinez explained.

On Wednesday, CBS2 heard counselors telling kids not to sit on the black top. A lesson learned few days too late for other counselors.

Toms River's Youth Services runs an eight-week summer camp that began on June 24 for children six to 11. The Ocean County prosecutor said no criminal intent was found.


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