Jacksonville mom accused of child abuse after on-campus boxing glove fight

The incident at DuPont Middle School made national headlines

The incident at DuPont Middle School made national headlines.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville mother is planning to sue the school district after another mother was accused of attacking her daughter on campus.

Duval County School Police arrested Edith Riddle, 34, on March 18 and charged her with child abuse. She’s since bonded out of jail.

According to an incident report, Riddle arrived at DuPont Middle School to pick up her 14-year-old daughter after a disturbance but was wearing a boxing glove. As Riddle, her fiancé and her daughter left, there was a fight involving a 12-year-old girl.

The story made headlines across the world.

Family members identified the 12-year-old victim as Navaeh Taylor, a 7th grader at the school.

Videos on Instagram show the fight, which shows the 14-year-old and her mother attacking Taylor, who was crying on the concrete. A teacher breaks it up before more damage is done.

“It’s unacceptable, it’s absolutely disturbing and disgusting,” Taylor’s mother Crystal Wiltsee told News4Jax.

She said her daughter went to the hospital with bumps, bruises, cuts and chipped tooth. Wiltsee said she felt failed by administrators.

She claims staff knew about the tension between her daughter and the 14-year-old who attacked her after learning about a threat earlier in the day.

She said a staff member called her to let her know her daughter was in good hands, but that she would need to be picked up from the bus stop because the teen rode the same bus.

“They assured me that she was fine and that they have the situation under control, that the mother was on her way to pick up the other child,” Wiltsee said.

“The fact that the parents came to the school with boxing gloves leads me to believe that it was planned,” she added. She also was adamant that, despite what Riddle said, her daughter Navaeh is not a bully and was only standing up for someone who was being bullied, which led to the tension.

“I’ve never even heard of my child being involved in any trouble at school,” she noted. “She’s actually on the soccer team.”

Navaeh has been out of school since the incident and doesn’t want to talk about what happened. However, their attorney, Belkis Plata, said they’re planning to sue the school district and Riddle.

“The school is put on notice that an issue can happen,” Plata said. “They tell the mother don’t worry we have this all under control when in fact they didn’t. And the threat became real and they still failed to protect her.”

Plata said she wanted to see criminal charges for the 14-year-old attacker and an investigation into Riddle’s fiancé. He is noted in the report as being there but was not arrested or charged.

“We would like [prosecutors] to know that our client recalls this grown man kicking her when she was down and being attacked by the mother and daughter,” she said.

A school district communications employee said it can’t comment further because of student privacy laws.

“We take student confidentiality very seriously,” a school district spokesperson told News4Jax. “While some parents may come to you to share their student’s educational experience, we are committed to protecting the privacy of our students and their educational and disciplinary records.”

The district did provide a redacted copy of the incident report upon request.

Riddle answered the phone Friday afternoon but hung up when News4Jax asked for comment.

Wiltsee said Navaeh is recovering but is not returning to DuPont Middle School. Neither is her brother who also attends the school. She said they will be doing virtual learning until they can get placed in a charter school. She said private school wasn’t financially an option.

About the Author:

Lifetime Jacksonville resident anchors the 8 and 9 a.m. weekday newscasts and is part of the News4Jax I-Team.