Videos on Facebook show a day care worker wearing a Halloween mask and yelling at children
HAMILTON, MS – Four people linked to viral video footage of Mississippi daycare employees using a scary mask to frighten young children are facing charges of felony child abuse, and a fifth person faces two misdemeanor counts.
The daycare’s owner, Sheila Sanders, is not facing charges. She has said that at least four of the employees were fired after the video came to light.
The videos, one filmed in September and another this month, were posted on social media. They show a daycare worker at Lil’ Blessings Child Care & Learning Center in Hamilton, an unincorporated community in northeast Mississippi, wearing a Halloween mask similar to the one in the “Scream” movies and yelling at children who didn’t “clean up” or “act good.”
Children can be seen bawling, cowering in fear, and at times running from the masked employee. Another employee gives directions, singling out which children have acted good or bad, The Associated Press reported. The employee in the mask is shown screaming inches away from children’s faces, the video showed.
Monroe County Sheriff Kevin Crook said in a news release that four of the women each face three counts of felony child abuse. A fifth woman, he says, faces charges of failure to report abuse by a mandatory reporter and simple assault against a minor — both misdemeanors.
“They can’t use corporal punishment, so we think they were using the mask to try to scare the kids into doing what they were supposed to be doing,” Crook said.