A former day care worker has been found guilty of more than a dozen charges of child abuse after turning her classroom into a “baby fight club”.
Sarah Jordan – the lead teacher in a classroom of one and two-year-old children at Minnieland Academy – would intentionally trip children and then laugh, feed them Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and encourage them to fight and bite each other for entertainment, a Virginian court heard.
Witnesses testified that the 31-year-old would also intentionally step on the toddlers’ toes, torture kids who were afraid of water by spraying a hose into their faces and called one girl ‘ugly’, WUSA reports.
It wasn’t until the previously happy toddlers began acting out at home by becoming increasingly aggressive, developing a fear of water or refusing to talk that parents knew something was going wrong in Jordan’s “Monkey Room”.
Emotional parents gave evidence during the three-day trial this week, with some saying their young children would stomp on their toes, refuse to bathe and cry when they were dropped off at the day care centre.
Police say the behavior is the result of Jordan and Kierra Spriggs, who also is accused of abuse, spraying children with a hose and encouraging them to bite and fight each other.
Adam Smith said his daughter “completely stopped talking” once she was in Jordan’s care, NBC reports.
“She would stomp her mom’s feet,” he said.
“She would run in and slap us for no apparent reason and start giggling.”
Another father, Blake Buckner, said his son was forced to fight in what was described by prosecutors as a “baby fight club”.
“The teacher was making him the class bully made to fight,” he said.
“It was hard to hold back tears, emotional, it was very deep. It pissed me off. She knows what she did. Justice has prevailed.”
Jordan was found guilty of 13 criminal charges, including child cruelty, assault and battery for the brutal treatment of the tots over an eight-month period in 2013.
She faces up to 41 years’ jail and will be sentenced in May.
Kierra Spriggs is also accused of mistreating the children and will stand trial next month.
The allegations against Jordan and a co-worker arose in 2013 when a colleague called child protective surfaces.
Parents of the traumatised children are considering taking civil action against the child care centre after three employees gave evidence that they had reported the abuse to a supervisor or director, but their concerns did not prompt action.