MONROE COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Four former daycare workers in Monroe County have been charged with felony child abuse after scaring children at a facility. A video of the incident went viral on a social media site.
Monroe County Sheriff Kevin Crook said the charges against the former employees were filed by the parents of the children in the Monroe County Justice Court.
Sierra McCandless, Oci-Anna Kilburn, Jennifer Newman and Shyenne Shelton have each been charged with three counts of felony child abuse. Traci Huston was charged with failure to report abuse by mandatory reporter and simple assault against a minor, which are misdemeanor charges.
Bond was set for four of the suspects on Thursday. McCandless and Kilburn each received a $20,000 bond. Newman and Shelton each received a $15,000 bond.
The videos on Facebook show a daycare worker at Lil’ Blessings Child Care & Learning Center in Hamilton wearing a Halloween mask and yelling at children who didn’t “clean up” or “act good.”
Children can be seen and heard crying and, at times, running away from the employee wearing the mask while another employee gives directions about which children acted good or bad. The employee in the mask is shown inches away from children’s faces at times, raising her voice and screaming.
Sheila Sanders, who has owned the business for the past 20 years, said she was unaware of the videos until they went viral. Sanders said one video was filmed in September, and another in October.
The behavior shown by her former employees in the video, she said, isn’t tolerated.
“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.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.