JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - While the attorney for a 14-year-old accused of beating another student unconscious questions the decision, Judge Henry Davis says he banned the girl from any Duval County school because has an obligation to do what he can to make schools safe.
Police say one day last month before school at Oceanway Middle School, Paris Cannon dragged a fellow 14-year-old girl by the hair, slammed her head into a stone wall and punched and slapped her. The victim, Aria Jewett, suffered a skull fracture and concussion.
Jewett (below in photo from hospital) says the fight started because Cannon though she was being called names on Facebook.
Jewett's attorney says Cannon is known for posting videos online showcasing her fights with fellow students, calling her a serial bully.
Cannon was charged with felony battery. In ruling on a defense motion asking that she not be back in Oceanway Middle, Davis went beyond the lawyer's request, barring Cannon from being allowed back in any Duval County school.
"Children ought to be able to go to school and feel safe," Davis said. "They should not have to worry about being beaten up, given physical injuries, permanent injuries at their schools. The schools belong to everybody and not just one person or one group of people."
Cannon's attorney called the ruling astonishing.
"It was unprecedented. It went beyond what the petition was requesting," Richard Brown said. "From what I understand, the law is that the minor is supposed to be in school. By law, she's required to be in school, and if she's barred from every public school in Duval County, and she lives in Duval County, then I don't know what her educational options would be."
Brown says Cannon's parents live out of state and the teenager lives with her older sister, who works to support them both. She can't home school her or afford private school.
Brown said he is planning to appeal the judge's ruling.
"While we're working through that process, a child has a right to have an education, irrespective of what it is they're charged with doing," Brown said told Channel 4's Hailey Winslow.
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