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Daycare accused of being a fight club for four year olds

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. – State regulators and prosecutors have opened up an investigation into a daycare accused of being a fight club. This comes after our sister station KTVI aired a report about the daycare Monday night.

“I think everything surprises me about this situation because it’s just a shocking one,” said mother Nicole Merseal, whose son was involved in the fighting.

On Monday, FOX2 revealed what happened in December 2016 when teachers at Adventure Learning Center Gravois pitted preschoolers against each other. They’d moved kids into a basement classroom because the heater broke. The fight club was the staff’s way of keeping the children occupied.

The daycare fired both teachers. They were never prosecuted. Since Monday’s Fox Files report, Merseal’s story has received international attention. More than 4,000 people have signed an online Care2 petition asking for criminal charges.

“I never imagined that it would be this big,” Merseal said.

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office has reopened an investigation.

“It makes me happy,” Merseal said. “That’s exactly what we were hoping.”

Merseal said a prosecutor wants to talk to her and get details about her son’s injuries. She said she’s also received contact from the Missouri Department of Social Services, which has also reopened its investigation into child endangerment.

“They’re wanting to speak to me, and interview my children again, and take a second look at the case,” she said.

If you’re shopping for a child care center, this incident will come up on state inspection records that are available to everyone. You can type the name of any child care center into the MO DHSS inspection portal to find the latest records.

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