PARKLAND, FLA. (WSVN) - A teenage girl faces a felony battery charge a day after, authorities said, she attacked her teacher and one of her fellow students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Students who walked into the Parkland campus on a rainy Tuesday talked about Monday morning’s violent incident inside the classroom of longtime teacher Sharon Cutler.
The student charged in the attack, freshman Sophia Brown, and her parents appeared before a judge on Tuesday.
Investigators said Brown lunged at Cutler and hit a student who tried to break up the fight.
Cellphone video captured the moment the suspect struck the other student.
Prior to that, MSD student Tucker Jean said, Brown had put the teacher in a headlock.
“It was a girl with her full forearm wrapped around the teacher’s neck, and then I think security guards came in and tried to separate the situation,” he said.
The physical confrontation happened at the end of eighth period.
The TAPInto Coral Springs publication also reported that Cutler was put in a headlock.
Investigators said Brown also bit her teacher’s pinky finger.
“Unusual, because when I had conversations with some of the teachers over at MSD that had some conversations with the students that were in the classroom, the class was going smoothly. There was nobody provoking,” said Broward Teacher’s Union President Anna Fusco. “She left, went to the bathroom, came back and came in very agitated and hostile and just went into rage.”
According to the online article, Brown “was escorted out of the school in handcuffs by at least two Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies.”
Brown is currently on house arrest. During her court appearance, she had some questions for the judge.
“I play tennis in a group setting, so would I be able to go? It’s on Wednesdays and Fridays from 5 to 7 [p.m.],” she said, “and I also volunteer at the library on Saturdays for a few hours at a time, so would I be able to go back to those two?”
There was no objection to her extracurricular activities, but the question that still lingers is whether or not she will return to MSD.
Fusco said this is just another example that they need to pay attention to the mental health of students.
“I would hope that when they hear what type of, you know, person and student this particular student us, that it would to the level that there needs to be some outside-of-the-box questions instead of just an arrest,” Fusco said.
“I’ll call the vice principal back after this is completed, to find out the plans — I guess she’s on suspension — and what her options are,” said Shelly Ann Brown, the suspect’s mother.
Cassandra Harvey with the Broward State Attorney’s Office said she has consulted with the Broward County School Board on this case.
“They did advise that the youth is suspended for 10 days. Expulsion is recommended,” she said.
Cutler wasn’t seriously hurt. Hours after the incident, she posted a message on Facebook that reads in part, “I’m okay (physically). Tough day today. I am home resting. #bekind #bekindtooneanother”
Students who spoke with 7News described Brown as kind, and they said Monday’s attack came out of nowhere.
“No one, I don’t think, ever had a problem with her. I’ve heard she’s like very neutral, kind, so it’s just crazy,” said Jean.
According to the judge, Brown is currently not allowed to return to the MSD campus or have any contact with either of the victims.
7News called Brown’s home. When asked what could have precipitated the attack, her mother replied, “No comment.”
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