CRANFORD, N.J. — Children as young as 4 were encouraged to brawl at a New Jersey day care and were allegedly egged on by their teachers in what one the adults called a “fight club,” prosecutors in Union County said Tuesday.
Two women are accused of instigating the fights at Lightbridge Academy on South Avenue East in Cranford, N.J., authorities said.
Erica Kenny, 22, of Cranford, and Chanese White, 28, of Roselle, were charged via summons Aug. 28 and Monday respectively, prosecutors said. They’re expected to appear in court Friday.
Kenny and White both face fourth-degree child abuse charges, and Kenny faces an additional charge of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child. If convicted, they could face up to 5 years in prison.
They allegedly coordinated the fights and recorded the children shoving each other, pushing each other to the ground and attempting to strike each other, prosecutors said.
Kenny then allegedly shared those videos on Snapchat, an app that lets users send videos or photos that disappear after a certain amount of time.
In one of those videos, Kenny allegedly uses the phrase “fight club” to define the kids’ behavior. It seems to be a reference to the book and film by the same name in which a group of adults clandestinely meet to brawl recreationally, prosecutors said.
About a dozen boys and girls ranging in age from 4 to 6 were seen in the videos fighting, prosecutors said.
None of those children are believed to have suffered any injuries.
An investigation into the suspected fights is underway. Anyone with information is urged to called Detective Joanne Son at 908-527-4696.