COLUMBIA, S.C. (TCD) — Two day care employees were arrested this week on multiple charges for allegedly directing minors in their care to fight each other at school.
The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office announced 27-year-old Ericka Jones and 56-year-old Serena Caldwell turned themselves in Thursday, Nov. 9, amid an investigation into incidents that allegedly occurred at Kids Unlimited of Prosperity day care. Jones and Caldwell were both charged with of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and unlawful conduct to a child. Jones faces 14 counts and Caldwell 15.
They both appeared before a judge and were released from the Newberry County Jail.
According to WIS-TV, Sheriff Lee Foster said Caldwell and Jones allegedly encouraged and directed students to fight or exhibit violence toward other students and “allowed the violence to proceed without correction.”
In a statement, Kids Unlimited owner John David Dawkins said Jones and Caldwell were “immediately terminated” from their positions at the school.
WLTX-TV reports the children involved were 3 and 4 years old.
Foster told WLTX Jones and Caldwell allegedly “promoted other students, or other clients of the day care, to use violence to try to punish a child or make another child compliant.”
Foster called the actions “abhorrent behavior,” adding, “I just can’t imagine why you would do this.”
WIS reports Foster said, “We’ve had day care workers that have assaulted children, and day care workers that may have taken punishment a bit too far, but nothing like this. I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.”
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