Daycare staff caught forcing kids into 'Toddler Fight Club'

They were encouraging two boys to beat each other up

October 31 2018

Staff at a daycare centre were caught on camera encouraging pre-schoolers to fight in what has been a labelled a 'toddler fight club'.

The footage of the wild fight was shot on an iPad when an older boy, ten, was shocked to see his four-year-old little brother being pressured into fighting. He recorded the incident and sent it to his mum.

Now mum Nicole Merseal is suing the daycare in St Louis, USA, claiming that after she reported the fighting in 2016, the centre didn't take the matter seriously.





Speaking with ABC News, the mum explained that in 2016, teachers Mickala Guliford and Tena Dailey at the Adventure Learning Center had pressured her preschooler to fight other children. They were given 'Hulk' fists and told to beat each other up.  

Mum Nicole explained, 'My son was very afraid. He didn't understand why his best friends beat him up. He just doesn't understand why they punched him in the face,' she said. 

'I don't know any parent that could watch their children go through this and not be upset.'


Mum, Nicole Merseal, ABC News

Mum, Nicole Merseal, ABC News


She said that her older son was  watching their little brother get beat up so he taped it on his iPad.

'When I got the video, I was just in complete shock. I immediately left work,' Nicole said. 'I also called the daycare immediately and told them to go stop the fighting.'

Police were called and the director of the day care, Jennifer Scott, told investigators that the teachers and kids  “were bored" and that "we ran out of things to do.”

'I meant for the fighting with the Hulk hands to be a stress release exercise," Guilford told her boss. “It did not last more than three or for minutes. ... No children got hurt but it was still a bad judgment call on my part.”

But kids told police the fighting was a regular occurrence. 

The staff were fired, but the mum is now suing the daycare centre, saying that her son was put through a terrible ordeal.

'The daycare should be held accountable,' Nicole told ABC News who is asking for $25,000 in damages because she believes the"fight club" has had a lasting impact on her son.

'It's really hard to explain to a 4-year-old what is and isn't normal especially when they have their teacher telling them that, you know, they have to do this,' Niole said. 'It took a long time for him to be comfortable in his new daycare and to understand that they won't make him fight. ... It's really sad that he had to go through this.'