A judge has decided that one 14-year-old girl in Jacksonville, Florida is not fit for any of the schools in that county. Not because she's a genius. And not because she has disabilities. But because she's allegedly an inveterate bully. The eighth grader allegedly lured classmate Aria Jewett off school grounds and then attacked her while 30 students stood around watching. The fight was videotaped. Aria suffered a fractured skull. The attacker girl was arrested. Aria's parents asked for an injunction to keep the girl out of Aria's school but the judgment surprised even them. The judge declared that the girl was too much of a danger for her to be in any of the public schools in the entire county.
Said Florida Circuit Court Judge Henry Davis in his ruling:
This child is a threat to all of the children at any school. The injunction is a permanent injunction barring this child from returning to any public school in Duval County.
Seems like a common sense approach, but the school's superintendent actually disagrees. The superintendent, Nikolai Vitti, says:
I don't think we should use the bad decision that children make outside of school as an example or scapegoat to make a message.
He reportedly went on to say that education is a constitutional right, and that even a girl who smashes another girl's head and videotapes it deserves one. The unnamed girl already has a lawyer and the lawyer is trying to return her to county public schools.
This shows you just about everything that is wrong with schools (and parenting) these days. Students are living in fear of kids like this bullying girl, and yet what appears to be more important to the girl's parents and the school's superintendent is that she gets her education! Never mind that the education system had failed her so far. Perhaps it was teaching her math and science, but it certainly wasn't teaching her empathy or humanity. I think she needs a different school -- the school of Hard Knocks.
I don't mean like the hard knocks she gave Aria, that fractured her skull and could have killed her. I mean the school that says if you screw up, you pay for it. And if you screw up repeatedly -- as allegedly this girl had numerous videotaped beatings to her name -- then you pay royally. And that means maybe your parents -- who seem more concerned about hiring you a lawyer than teaching you how to behave -- have to move away or home school you. Sounds like instead of spending money on a lawyer, they could have bought their daughter a tutor and a lifetime supply of anger management classes. I wonder if Vitti would be fine sending a daughter of his into a classroom with this girl?
Do you think this girl should be allowed back in schools?
Image via CBS News