NewsLocal News


'Daycare fight club' viral videos lead to Billings facility permanently closing

Bibs to Books on Hansen Lane in Billings
Posted at 7:10 PM, May 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-10 21:10:46-04

BILLINGS — Bibs to Books in Billings Heights has permanently closed after shocking videos emerged on social media this week showing two young boys play fighting while staff members watched and encouraged the behavior, according to staff members.

Jocelyn Pflughoft and Jackie Devincenzi are the mothers of the boys captured in the videos, who are three and four years old. They told MTN News they didn't find anything wrong with what occurred in the video, but they were upset it was posted without their permission. They said the boys were simply playing.

Bibs to Books in Billings
Bibs to Books in Billings

"They were just being boys. I don't know how else to put it,” Pflughoft said on Friday. "Everybody needs to realize kids are going to be kids. They were playing. You can see in the video, they were smiling and laughing."

Pflughoft claims she was falsely identified as one of the individuals in the video.

"That is definitely not me," Pflughoft said.

She had recently stepped into the role of director at Bibs to Books after the owner, Linda Thomas, had to take time off to deal with health problems. She said she learned of the incident on social media.

"I was in my office. I did not hear anything that was going on. I found out, just like the rest of you guys found out, by checking Snapchat," Pflughoft said. "I asked the employee to delete it. Then after that was handled, the next step we did was fire both employees."

Neither mom would appear on camera, interviewing with MTN over the phone. They said they're worried about their safety after receiving backlash and threats.

"As soon as we saw the Snapchat, we checked both of our children over. There was no harm. There was not even red marks,” Plughoft said.

But other former Bibs to Books parents believe there’s more to the story.

"I did show my child the video. And the first thing she says is, 'That's Miss Tiara and that's Jocelyn talking to her.' Jocelyn was in the room,” said Greg Stout, a parent of a four-year-old who attended the daycare, on Friday.

Greg Stout
Greg Stout

Stout's daughter was at the daycare on Friday when he said the incident occurred. His wife picked their child up and was confused by staff's behavior.

"The door to that room was closed. It's the only room in the building that I know that doesn't have a camera, maybe besides the bathroom. And she tried to rush her out the door,” Stout said.

Stout wants those responsible to be held accountable.

"Jocelyn's voice is heard. And the second I played it for my daughter, she said, 'That's Miss Jocelyn.' And I recognized the voice. Wife recognizes the voice. Other people have seen the video recognized the voice,” said Stout.

Stout wants Thomas to know how sorry he is this happened at her business.

"Linda, our daughter loves you. I'm sorry this happened to you. You put your trust in somebody that obviously you couldn't trust, but hindsight's 2020,” Stout said.

MTN News reached out to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, which conducted an investigation and was told it was made aware of the incident on Monday and performed an unannounced visit Tuesday. The facility now has an opportunity to respond to its findings.

Bibs to Books on Hansen Lane in Billings
Bibs to Books on Hansen Lane in Billings

"I'm giving them my side of the story. We did everything to our best ability to do what we had to do for the employees that were there that got fired. I don't know what else the public wants or wants us to do,” Pflughoft said.

To read MTN's initial report on the incident, click here.