13-year-old beaten on school bus
Attacker arrested on battery charge
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thirteen-year-old Yahairalis Ferrer was riding on a school bus earlier this month when all of a sudden another girl clocked her in the side of the head.
It was caught on cellphone video -- images hard for the teen's mother to see.
"I just started crying," Ruth Ferrer said. "Nobody was doing anything about it. It just broke me down. I just had to stop watching it."
The teen's parents say two boys held her down while a girl continued punching her eight to 10 times.
Dozens of Eugene Butler Middle School students were standing up on the bus, causing commotion and recording the fight.
Ferrer's parents are angry because they say the bus driver didn't follow protocol by pulling the bus over and calling police.
"All the screaming, all the commotion, all the kids standing up on the bus, he should've realized that something was going on," Ruth Ferrer said.
"You try to get answers when stuff like this happens. That shouldn't have happened in the first place," said Robert Monigold, the teen's father. "And when you keep getting the run around from everybody and everybody's passing the bucket and not wanting to fix the problem, it's discerning."
A spokesman from the bus company, First Student, says the driver was unaware of the incident that occurred while at a bus stop. He released this statement: "The safety and security of the students we transport to and from school is our top priority and something we take very seriously. Our drivers are highly trained to provide students with a safe form of transportation daily."
The girl was arrested on a battery charge, and the school also punished her with the maximum penalty allowed for that type of situation.
"The attacker was removed of all privileges of riding the bus throughout the remainder of the school year," Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said. "The attacker was also recommended to go to alternative school, but that was denied because the incident took place on the bus and not on school grounds."
Vitti said he's frustrated with recent fights among Duval County students, and he said things are about to change. Starting in the fall, he's planning on having a dean of discipline in every middle and high school, teachers in every in-school suspension setting, more guidance counselors and more security guards.
"The expectations on behavior are going to be at an all-time high where, for the first time, I think spend time before the school year starts to go over the code of conduct with all children," Vitti said.
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