Two New York City day care workers are accused of locking frightened toddlers in a dark storage closet.
One teacher claimed she was teaching the kids “how to survive,” according to the Brooklyn day care owner.
Video footage of Pinocchio Children’s Palace in East Flatbush reportedly shows 25-year-old teacher Shandra Fallen and her assistant 34-year-old Amellia Samuda putting 2-year-olds in a classroom closet, the New York Post reported.
The owner the facility, Tatiana Ilyaich, told the Post she learned about the ritual in June when she heard crying in Fallen’s classroom. When she went into the room she found a scared little boy locked in the closet.
She claimed Fallen and Samuda “started laughing.” She says Fallen told her “It’s kind of a game we’re playing with the kids.”
When Ilyaich looked at security footage she saw it was something that happened regularly. In one video Fallen allegedly puts a child into the closet, which is packet with supplies, leaving him alone in there for three minutes, according to the Post.
In another video she left 2-year-old Mahli Mathias inside for 10 minutes.
Ilyaich reported the abuse to authorities and fired both the women.
Mathias’ mother, Gabrielle Henmings, is suing the day care, Fallen and Samuda for negligence in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Eden, Janine and Jim