Day Care Workers Who Terrified Children With Scary Masks Get Child-Abuse Charges

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Five former day care workers in Mississippi are facing child abuse charges after video footage of them using a Halloween mask to frighten children went viral earlier this month.

Sierra McCandless, Oci-Anna Kilburn, Jennifer Newman and Shyenne Shelton were charged with three counts of felony child abuse, and Traci Hutson was charged with two misdemeanors for failing to report abuse and simple assault against a minor, according to WTVA news.

Video of the Oct. 4 incident showed a masked day care worker terrorizing children at the Lil Blessings Child Care and Learning Center, many of whom are seen crying and screaming in fear.

Officials met with parents of the children involved on Oct. 17 and informed them that the day care workers could face criminal charges, according to ABC News.

“The parents we talked to in that meeting, there were some that were certain they wanted to file felony charges. And the only felony charge this could fit is was felony child abuse under subsection 1D, improper supervising of the kids that led to neglect and possible substantial trauma, mental trauma from what they were going through,” Monroe County Sheriff Kevin Crook said in a statement regarding the incident, according to WCBI News.

The felony charges were filed against the former employees after three sets of parents filed police reports, according to WCBI news.

The owner of the Lil Blessings Day Care facility was not charged, but did confirm that all employees involved had been fired as a result and that the incident had been reported to the Mississippi Department of Health, WCBI News reported. The owner also admitted that she was made aware of a similar incident at the day care that was recorded in September, according to WTVA News. (RELATED: Daycare Worker Charged After Allegedly Twisting Infant’s Leg Until It Fractured)

Sheriff Crook expressed hope that the attention this incident received might prevent it from happening elsewhere in the future and encourage people to “look into” what is happening in their local day care facilities, WTVA News reported.