Day care under investigation after video shows employees using masks to frighten children

HAMILTON, Miss. — Several employees were fired and a Mississippi day care is under investigation after videos circulating on social media appeared to show workers frightening young children with Halloween masks.

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The videos, which were posted to multiple social media accounts, appears to show adults working at the Lil’ Blessings Child Care & Learning Center in a room with children. One of the adults is wearing a mask from the movie “Scream,” and children can be seen and heard screaming and crying, WCBI reported. One video appears to show the adults laughing about making the children cry.

The day care’s owner, Sheila Sanders, told The Monroe Journal that one video was filmed in September and a second was filmed on Tuesday, but that she was not made aware of either until Wednesday.

“I contacted my licensure, and she has gotten involved,” Sanders said. “The people that did those acts are no longer with us. They were fired. I wasn’t here at the time and wasn’t aware they were doing that. I don’t condone that and never have. I just want to say it’s been taken care of.”

“We thought we knew these people, we’re from here,” Alissa Hays, the mother of one of the children in the video, told WCBI. “I cannot communicate the words how I feel. I’m devastated for my baby.”

The Mississippi State Department of Health and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the incident, The Monroe Journal reported. No charges have been filed.

“I understand people want retaliation or retribution or whatever they want,” Sheriff Kevin Crook said to WCBI. “Justice is really what they want. Not to do anything irrational and to take matters into their hands and go after some of these young people or whatever who they know is involved or the owner of the business that’s gonna get them in trouble.”

“Was the situation that did happen horrible? Absolutely. But should this day care be shut down and others be villainized that are still here, absolutely not,” Kimberly Smith, a mother whose child is visible in one of the videos, told The Monroe Journal. “Am I OK with what happened to the extent of what happened? Absolutely not, but I know (Sanders) took care of it, and my babies are safe here.”

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