A pair of staff members at a day-care center in Cranford, New Jersey, have been accused of running a “fight club” with the kids under their care. NBC4 New York reports that 22-year-old Erica Kenny and 28-year-old Chanese White have been charged with fourth-degree child abuse, and Kenny has additionally been charged with third-degree endangering of a child. Both are expected to appear in court later this week. Prosecutors allege that, one day last month, Kenny and White instigated fights among a dozen 4- to 6-year-old boys and girls at Lightbridge Academy in Cranford, and that Kenny filmed some of the fights and then shared them on Snapchat. According to NBC4, in the videos on her phone, “a voice similar in timbre and tone to Kenny’s can be heard referencing Fight Club as she encourages them to brawl. At one point, the adult even quotes the book and movie.” Thankfully, none of the children seem to have suffered any serious injuries. Lightbridge Academy, a day-care-center chain, has fired both women and says it is retraining all of its employees.
I already knew, in an abstract, intellectual way, that class and race can and will determine who really incurs the costs of climate change, but living through these fires for the past couple of years has really made it tangible.
I live in an old and drafty house, but I also have enough money to afford to make an unplanned purchase of an expensive air purifier to mitigate the effects of the wildfire smoke on us — especially on the baby. And when shipping got delayed, I not only knew where to look to figure out how to make a makeshift purifier, I could still afford to do so. And I had the time to figure out how to make it work when the hardware store didn’t have the right stuff in stock.
We all got sick anyway, but I have peace of mind knowing that 1) I can afford to go to the doctor and buy medicine if necessary, and 2) I can take day off if I need it or I need it to take care of the kid.
On a day where the air was especially bad, I could afford to have food delivered to my house to avoid going to the grocery store or using my gas stove and making the air in the house worse — the person delivering my food didn’t have the option of avoiding the smoke.
And if it gets really bad, we have the job flexibility and money to be able to drive elsewhere to escape, as we did last year. It’s not ideal and a hit to the budget, but it’s possible if necessary. Lots of people do not have that option.
Honestly? I’m thinking that next year, the smart thing to do might be to not plan a vacation and instead use that money as the “escaping the smoke from seasonal wildfires” fund. Just have that be the vacation instead.