The mothers of two Delaware toddlers, who were allegedly forced to fight for the amusement of daycare staff, are now suing the child care facility for monetary damages claiming physical and mental injuries.
In their suit against Hands of our Future, the boy’s mothers, Tamika Chandler and Makeisha Gray, claim that the fight caught on tape was not isolated, but was ongoing.
“Plaintiffs Kylil and Nashon, three years old at the time of the abuse, were forced to physically pummel each other on several occasions,” read the criminal complaint.
The complaint further states that one of the boys can be seen crying during the fight and “seeking refuge” with a daycare staffer, who then "physically restrained the fleeing child, and forced him to continue to fight.”
The two remaining care-givers are allegedly filmed laughing during the incident.
In addition to alleging false imprisonment and an intention to inflict emotional distress, the lawsuit accuses facility owners of negligence and breach of contract.
The March incident, which was captured on a cellphone video, received national attention over the summer when authorities became aware of the video and arrested Hands of our Future employees Tiana Harris, 19, Estefania Meyers, 21, and Lisa Parker, 47, were arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, conspiracy and second degree assault.
Last month Delaware state officials reissued a license to the daycare facility after having suspended it following the alleged abuse.
In their decision to reissue the license, state officials disputed a claim made in the mothers’ lawsuit against Hands of our Future, in which it was alleged that the daycare’s owners were aware of alleged prior and subsequent abuse at the facility.
Andrea Wojcik, spokeswoman for the Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families, which contains the Office of Child Care Licensing, said that the owners neither knew of the abuse nor attempted to cover them up according to Delewareonline.com.
In addition to requiring that Hands of our Future staff and owners attend child behavior management and abuse reporting classes, the facility is currently operating on probation according to Wojcki and will have increased monitoring and unannounced site visits.
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