JACKSONVILLE, Fla -- It's video that will make your jaw drop. We want to warn you, it is tough to watch. A mother posted it on her facebook page, showing two toddlers fist fighting. In it, you can hear the woman egging the kids on.
The mother's facebook friend saw the video and reported it. There is no debate the video is disturbing, but could you be prosecuted if you saw a video like that and didn't report it? We took that question straight to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
"Absolutely," JSO's Melissa Bujeda said. "The state statute says that anyone who is aware of a child being abused or even suspects that a child may be abused needs to contact either police or the Florida hotline for child abuse."
But while JSO considers it a clear case of child abuse, Sharon Brownly with the Department of Children and Families tells Action News it is not typically a case they would get involved in. Believe it or not, she says the incident wouldn't be classified as child abuse to DCF.
Brownly says while it is highly inappropriate, they wouldn't step in unless the mother was arrested and the children were left with no place to go.
And in the case in St. Louis, Missouri, despite the video evidence, no charges have been filed yet.
"People post things that they think are funny or may think it's cute but it's definitely not cute when you see kids abusing themselves," Bujeda said.
The Florida statute says you can remain anonymous reporting suspected child abuse unless you are a doctor, teacher, social worker, day care employee, law enforcement officer or a judge. Then you are required to give your name.