HOMESTEAD (CBSMIAMI) – An 8th grade student at South Dade Middle School has been suspended for 10 days after cellphone video showed her beating a 13-year-old classmate on Tuesday.
The video was obtained exclusively by CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, who also spoke with the girl who was attacked as well as her parents.
“I was looking for a dollar in my book bag and then the girl grabs me and attacks me,” said Julie Medina, who added she was suddenly attacked at 10:45 a.m. in the hallway during a change in classes. “She grabbed me by the hair and hit me. She hit me in the eyes about five times. I did not know what to do. I was scared and I hit the floor and I couldn’t do anything. And my friend was the only one who tried to pull her off of me.”
Medina said her 14-year-old attacker was angry with her because she believed Medina had insulted her behind her back.
“She thought I said she was ghetto but I never said that about her,” she said. “I went to the office and told them that she wanted to fight me and I didn’t want to fight her. A school security guard talked to her but that did not do anything.”
A schools spokeswoman told CBS4 that both girls were at fault and were considered mutual combatants and that’s why no charges were filed.
The spokeswoman also said school counselors had met previously with the girls, warned them about the consequences of fighting and tried to mediate. The counselors thought that the issues were resolved.
The spokeswoman added it’s not possible to monitor every part of a school to prevent a fight from breaking out.
While Medina’s parents want the attacker expelled, the spokeswoman said that usually does not happen after just one fight.
Medina said she wants to be a veterinarian or a pediatrician when she grows up, but right now she is having nightmares and cannot sleep.
“That girl who attacked me is threatening me on social media that she is going to get me,” she said.
Her parents have pulled her out of South Dade Middle School and said they want to raise awareness about bullying.
“It’s heartbreaking to see your daughter crying, because you try to teach them to do the right thing. The original complaint was not taken seriously. We know that you cannot take threats lightly. They should have taken threats to separate them,” said Medina’s father, Thomas Cistulli.
Her parents said the school should have taken more steps to prevent this beating.
“I would like to see this girl charged with assault and battery and expelled from the school. My daughter is scared to get back to the school and she is still being threatened on social media,” he said.
Cistulli is also furious at how school officials reportedly responded to his daughter’s complaints.
“She had the assistant principal tell her that she should stop playing the victim. Come on! She is the victim,” he said.
Debbie Camacho, who is the mother of Medina, said, “You don’t want kids to be humiliated like that. This is not normal behavior. This is not normal.”