HOMESTEAD, FLA. (WSVN) - The state attorney is moving forward with filing criminal charges against a 15-year-old boy, accusing him of beating up a 9-year-old girl on a school bus in Homestead.
“It’s just sad what violence does to children nowadays, and it feels like an epidemic,” said the victim’s mother.
Cell phone video shows the attack that occurred Feb. 1.
Pictures give a glimpse into the girl’s bruises on her head, back and shoulders.
“It’s just very hard to watch, even to this day,” said the mother of the victim.
Authorities said, initially, a school police officer investigated the incident and gave the teen a civil citation.
But the state attorney didn’t feel that was the right punishment, writing in part, “We believe that, based on the evidence and the circumstances, the use of a civil citation was incompatible with the level of violence displayed by the 15-year-old against his much younger and smaller victim. As a result, we have filed criminal battery charges with our juvenile courts.”
The victim’s mother shared her thoughts about the charges, Tuesday evening.
“I think that some form of rehabilitation is needed because children who feel that aggressiveness and violence is the only answer need to have a way to change that form of thought,” said the victim’s mother.
The mother said, during that same violent bus ride, someone else also beat up her 10-year-old son. Right now, she doesn’t know if any action will be taken for that assault.
The students on the bus attend Coconut Palm K-8 Academy in South Miami-Dade.
“I want to see solutions, and I want to see it. My kids weren’t safe from it, but I don’t want another mother to be going through what I’m going through,” said the mother.
She also said her mission is to see changes at the school from the district.
“My child is not the first, and if they don’t do anything about it, it’s not going to be the last,” said the mother of the victim. “It’s just very sad because there were many points where adults could have stopped this from getting as bad as it did.”
A hearing will be held Wednesday at the children’s courthouse in Downtown Miami.
The school district is reviewing the incident to see if the bus driver will also face disciplinary action.
The district also released a statement that said they support and respect the role of the Miami Dade State Attorney’s office in ultimately reviewing and determining the most appropriate action for this case.
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