LAUDERHILL, FLA. (WSVN) - A Lauderhill mother said her 12-year-old daughter was ambushed at her middle school, and now she is afraid to return to school.
Gianna Payrovi-Pennington, a seventh-grader at Parkway Middle School, could be seen on video getting kicked and punched by another girl while she was lying on the ground.
She said the girl who attacked her was upset that she told the assistant principal she was being bullied. Gianna added that she tried to walk away, but it did not work.
“She was trying to talk to me,” she said. “I wasn’t listening to her, and she just yanked my hair and just started pulling me to the ground and started punching me.”
Gianna said she suffered injuries to her head, knee and shoulder. The fight lasted for over a minute before school security arrived to help break it up, which upset Candice Payrovi, Gianna’s mother.
“I said, ‘Why didn’t somebody get to my daughter sooner?’ ‘We’re short staffed,'” Payrovi said. “I broke down in seeing my daughter trampled to the ground and kicked and stomped on her head. She didn’t have a chance.”
Gianna said she felt helpless during the fight, and she feels bad now because cellphone video of the fight has popped up on social media.
“I couldn’t get up because she kept pulling my hair,” Gianna said. “She then just started punching, and then, she stomped on my head like a few times, and then, security came. If one person posts it, then they screen record it and start posting it on their accounts. I’ve been on Instagram. Every time I refresh my page, that fight just pops up. It’s just so crazy.”
Broward County Public Schools said safety is a top priority and the school’s response was immediate.
The district said in a statement, “Disciplinary measures involving the student responsible for the altercation are in accordance with the code book for student conduct. The school has cooperated with law enforcement regarding this situation.”
Gianna, meanwhile, does not want to return to the school.
“I want to go back to school, but I don’t know if I want to go back to that school because I know they’re probably bullying me more about it,” she said. “I don’t want to put that much more on me.”
Her mother echoed her daughter’s feelings.
“I’m not taking her back to that school,” she said. “I refuse to let her feel any kind of shame or embarrassment for what was done to her. She was the victim.”
The school and the district are working with the family toward the HOPE Scholarship. The scholarship provides funds for private schools for children who are bullied or attacked.
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