Parents File Suit Against Owner of NJ Montessori School in Viral Abuse Video

The parents of a pair of children seen on video being handled roughly by employees at a private school in New Jersey earlier this year have filed a lawsuit against the organization that runs the institution, court documents show.

The suit, filed Wednesday, is the first to be filed since cellphone videos obtained exclusively by NBC 4 New York showed teachers manhandling two children at Apple Montessori School in Hoboken.

The videos, obtained in May, showed an aide grabbing at a 23-month-old girl as she attempts to put a hat on the child; the other shows a teacher grabbing a crying child by her feet, then yanking the toddler around. 

The suit, filed by the parents of the children seen in the video, seeks unspecified damages from Apple Montessori Schools and several employees for negligence, emotional damage, breach of contract, assault and other charges. 

Apple Montessori, which runs 17 schools in New Jersey, fired five employees after the videos were released. The terminated employees included both teachers seen in the videos and the director and the assistant director of the Hoboken school. 

"We are outraged by the lack of care and concern this former employee showed," Apple Montessori School in Hoboken said after the firings. "We do not condone this type of behavior in any way, shape or form. Additionally, we are instituting new safety measures to ensure that this type of incident doesn’t happen again."

The school held a meeting for parents earlier this year assuring that major policy changes are coming. The owners promised they would install more cameras inside the school, and that parents could access them remotely, according to parents who were at the meeting. They also promised improved communication between the school management, owners and parents. 

Apple Montessori said it had no comment on the lawsuit.

Parents were also told at the meeting that the State Department of Children Services is investigating. 

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