ABERDEEN, Miss. (AP) — A grand jury has declined to bring felony charges against four former Mississippi day care workers who were filmed scaring young children while wearing Halloween masks, Monroe County Sheriff Kevin Crook said.
But the charges were sent to Monroe County Justice Court as misdemeanors and will go before a judge later, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported Tuesday.
The videos — one filmed in September and another in October — were posted on social media. They show a day care worker at Lil’ Blessings Child Care & Learning Center in Hamilton wearing a Halloween mask similar to the one in the “Scream” movies and yelling at children who didn’t “clean up” or “act good.”
Children can be seen bawling, cowering in fear and at times running from the masked employee. Another employee gives directions, singling out which children have acted good or bad. The employee in the mask is shown screaming inches away from children’s faces, the video showed.
The sheriff's office had previously charged four women with three counts of felony child abuse. Another woman faces charges of failure to report abuse by a mandatory reporter and simple assault against a minor — both misdemeanors.
Hamilton is an unincorporated community in northeast Mississippi.