Father wants more done after daughter attacked

PALATKA, Fla. - The attack of a 14-year-old Palatka High School student last month was caught on cellphone video, and the girl's father said not enough has been done about it.

David, whose last name isn't being used to protect his daughter's identity, said he doesn't want the girl who attacked his daughter to go to jail. He just wants better punishment so this doesn't happen again.

Putnam County School District Superintendent Phyllis Criswell said the case is closed, and David said the school district is ignoring him, putting his daughter at risk.

"This is my daughter getting pounded to the floor and beat," David said.

He said another student started recording the video and handed it off to a friend in what he calls a planned attack.

"Proceeded to beat her to the floor -- not one punch, but beat her countless and repeated times until she had a situation that might have even been life-threatening," David said.

A Putnam County deputy wrote an incident report, and David said he tried to press assault charges, but he said the state attorney's office and school district did nothing.

David said the teen was originally suspended for 10 days, but it was later reduced to only a few after an appeal from her parents. Since then, he said he's gotten no help.

As a result, he's worried for the safety of other students in the future.

David said he's not going to let down. He admits he's had issues with the school district's decisions in the past, but this one is something he won't give up on. He said he's filing formal complaints to the Florida Board of Education and the Bar Association so no other child goes through what his daughter is going through.

"The lackadaisical nature of the school district and the state attorney's office in the situation is deplorable," David said. "I want to say kids will be kids, but this one goes a little further than a kids-will-be-kids-type situation."

Criswell said district employees did everything appropriately and followed all guidelines and laws. She said she even consulted the school board attorney. She said as far as the allegations and the punishment, she couldn't comment because that would violate student privacy laws.

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