Police officers arrested a 14-year-old girl at Gonzales Middle School Friday, following a fight with another student whose mother says had been the victim of repeated bullying by a group of students.
Jackie Tisdell, spokeswoman for Ascension Parish public schools, said law enforcement was called to the school after the fight between two students at Gonzales Middle.
Gonzales police officers booked the teen on counts of disturbing the peace and simple battery, said Charlotte Smith, police spokeswoman.
Stephanie Hutchinson, 40, the Gonzales-area mother of the girl who was beaten, wrote in a Facebook post that her child was new this year to the school and was being bullied, threatened daily that "she was going to be jumped by 5 girls at break time" and repeatedly called names, including racially oriented slights, like "nappy-headed white girl."
"Since day one, she has been a target at this school, and the teachers have all been made aware of it," Hutchinson added in an interview Saturday.
In a tiny room tucked behind the far side of the Port Allen Middle School gym, Chase Nyland-Square spends hours each week sorting crowded rack…
Hutchinson said school officials agreed to change her child's schedule to avoid one of the students who was bullying her and had planned a parent-teacher conference Wednesday due to concerns expressed by teachers and counselors concerns about her daughter's emotional and physical well-being.
She added in the interview that her daughter had been staying close to her teachers during recess to avoid a confrontation but got caught Friday when she went to the water fountain. Hutchinson said the school principal showed her a video of the moments leading up to the fight, though not the fight itself.
Hutchinson said her daughter was taken to the ground and punched and kicked in the head and arm. The girl was later taken to the hospital. Doctors were concerned about blows she received to the one of her eyes and to one of her temples, but scans found no broken bones, only severe bruising on her head.
Hutchinson said a city police officer informed her that the student who beat her daughter received the misdemeanor criminal counts, three days of out-of-school suspension and two days of in-school suspension.
The Lafayette Parish School Board backed a resolution Wednesday to recognize and combat bullying against LGBTQ students, just two months after…
Tisdell, the school spokeswoman, said school officials still have the incident under investigation and "appropriate consequences will be applied as outlined in our student handbook." She did not describe any disciplinary actions the school may have been taken.
Hutchinson said she feels the criminal charges and suspension were not enough and that, though teachers have been compassionate toward her child, not enough was done in advance to avoid a confrontation. She believes the bullying will continue.
"This has to stop," she said in the interview.
School and police officials did not identify the juveniles involved.