Two daycare teachers from Kids Unlimited of Prosperity in South Carolina, Ericka Jones, 27, and Serena Caldwell, 56, are facing charges for allegedly directing 3 and 4-year-olds to engage in physical altercations. The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office revealed that the teachers allowed the violence to proceed without intervention. Both Jones and Caldwell turned themselves in after arrest warrants were issued, with charges including contributing to the delinquency of a minor and unlawful conduct to a child. Jones faces 14 counts of each charge, while Caldwell faces 15.
Daycare owner John David Dawkins swiftly responded to staff reports and reviewed security footage, leading to the immediate termination of Jones and Caldwell. The daycare promptly informed the South Carolina Department of Social Services and the Newberry County Sheriff’s Department, fully cooperating in the subsequent investigation.
According to law enforcement, the teachers instructed young children to engage in activities involving shoving, pulling, and hitting. Sheriff Lee Foster expressed shock at the teachers’ actions, noting that it began with promoting violence among the children to enforce discipline or compliance.
Fourteen children, aged between three and four years old, were involved in the incidents. While none suffered serious physical injuries, Sheriff Foster voiced concerns about potential emotional or psychological damage inflicted upon the children. A parent, who chose to remain unnamed, testified that their child was directed to hit another child and then told to repeat the action.
Sheriff Foster characterized Jones and Caldwell as “rogue employees,” emphasizing that the department does not believe the daycare was complicit in their behavior. One parent acknowledged the likely absence of systemic issues but expressed sorrow that the actions of these individuals cast a negative light on the daycare. The parent highlighted the challenge of removing such traumatic experiences from a child’s memory, stating that the incident had a lasting impact on their lives.
Daycare workers busted for allegedly running child fight ring pic.twitter.com/2HdUNxg9AV
— Pubity (@pubity) November 12, 2023