Missouri Preschool 'Fight Club': Footage Shows Children Beating Each Other—While Teacher Cheers

Video has emerged showing preschool children allegedly being made to fight one another while attending the Adventure Learning Center in St. Louis.

The footage, which local media outlet Q13 Fox likened to the movie Fight Club, dates from December 2016. The short clip, published Tuesday, was taken through a classroom window on an iPad by the 10-year-old brother of one of the children could be seen crying, allegedly after three fights.

It shows one teacher jumping up and down excitedly, and another putting padded "Hulk fist" gloves on a child. The preschoolers are seen pummeling one another. Only one other child tried to break up the fighting. Another child on the ground was pummeled repeatedly.

According to Q13 Fox, the lead teacher organized the fighting to entertain the children. On-site cameras reportedly captured at least 30 minutes of the Fight Club-style clashes. It was not clear why the taping was not monitored. The school declined to comment to Q13 Fox. In the wake of the incident, state regulators stepped in, but complaints of abuse remain.

Both teachers were fired but not prosecuted, Q13 Fox reported, citing police reports. Adventure Learning Center in Gravois has had 26 violations since the event. In one, from March of this year, a 4-year-old said a teacher had "flicked him, grabbed him and pushed him to the ground."

One mother, Nicole Merseal, told Fox-affiliated KTVI: "He [her child in the video] doesn't understand why his friends were fighting him—why he was beaten up by his best friends. And it was on his fourth birthday." Merseal said she was texted the footage by her older son and passed it on to the school director. The mother said not enough had been done since the event. "I want them to be held accountable, and I don't want this to happen to any other child," she said.

Merseal pointed out that her son had been seen crying in the video during the fighting.

"In the video, he's wiping his face over and over again," she said. "The day care worker—you see her walk over to him and tell him 'you're fine' and pat him on the back and then walk and start another fight with other kids." The child has since moved to another center.