JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - The obvious problem in the surveillance video is the physical abuse inflicted on the children at the hands of a 9 year old. But this question also arises: why was a 9 year old mingling in the same room with toddler and preschool age children at Kiddie City Childcare in Vicksburg?
Mississippi Department of Health regulations, which are backed by state law, state the following: "Preschool children shall not be grouped with school age children in any single area during normal classroom activities."
The time stamp on the video is 5:45 and 6:00 pm. Compliance with group sizes is not required during arrival and departure time periods.
But that may not be the case here. Kiddie City keeps late hours to accommodate parents who work evening shifts.
Claudia Sears has seen the video. She owns Claudia's Childcare Center in Pearl.
"I can't even watch it now. It is so distressing," she says.
Claudia sticks to the guidelines, and takes it a step further, separating preschoolers of each age in different rooms.
1st through 5th graders are in one room together.
When it's dismissal time, "We still keep creepers in their room," Claudia says. "We don't ever mix them with anybody."
She says if a 9 year old child is the last school-age child waiting for a ride home, that child would sit with her, or sit with the caregiver.
"We would not let him up. Don't let them run around. They have to sit still," she says.
The disposition of the 9 year old seen in the Kiddie City video is unknown. His case is being handled through Warren County Youth Court.