Evangelism Exposed

“Jesus wept.” Joh 11:35

Allegations of forced fighting, at Fayetteville church daycare


FAYETTEVILLE – Local police and DHS are investigating allegations that two church daycare workers encouraged children to fight with each other.

Fayetteville police say it was one classroom of about 18 children at Central United Methodist church in Fayetteville. According to parents of 3-and 4-year-old children who were allegedly involved in this activity, two teachers forced their kids to participate in a game they called “Ring of Fire,” one they say is based on a real-life television show called Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Church Administrator Brian Swain says he was sickened, when church management reported allegations of potential inappropriate behavior, in one of the church daycare classrooms. “The alleged behavior was not of an inappropriate sexual nature. It was basically, of children being organized to fight.”

Swain says they immediately terminated the employees in question, and contacted DHS to investigate. Julie Munsell with DHS explains: “I don’t know if they were teaching the children to fight or having them fight during “Circle Time.” It was a group of 3-and 4-year-olds. There have been some reported minor injuries.”

Parents who did not want to be identified say their children told them, two teachers chose the weakest kids, and told them to fight each other: the child that cried first was told they were a loser, and the one who did not cry was rewarded as the “winner.”

Involved parents add that their children told them the game was called “Ring of Fire,” and these parents say they believe the game is based on a TV program called Ultimate Fighting Championship, a belief Munsell says may not be unfounded. “In the teacher’s off-time, that they belonged to a “Fight Club.” We’ve had some bizarre situations happen at facilities, but this is a new one. I haven’t heard of this one before.”

Swain say they are heartbroken and shocked over the allegations, but are now turning their attention to help and healing, for the families. “We’ve been focusing on working with parents, and trying to help them with counseling.”

5News spoke with some parents whose kids were in this classroom; they say they’re frustrated. One man says his daughter tells him she now enjoys fighting, and says, he doesn’t know how to fix that.

The church is taking several measures to ensure against things like this, in the future, from putting cameras in the classrooms, and teacher training, to violence prevention studies, for the children.

Police say this investigation is on-going, and that right now, they’re in the process of speaking with the alleged victims, and their families.

August 27, 2008 - Posted by | Church Scandals, Methodist

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