Seven Florida teenagers have been arrested after authorities said they punched and kicked a 13-year-old girl until she was unconscious while on a school bus after nobody let her sit down, writes Kelli Kennedy at the Associated Press.
The bus was heading for a middle school in Ocala, a city north of Orlando. It was the first time the victim took the bus, which carries around 75 children daily.
The arrest report shows that the victim, who was later taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a concussion, severe bruising on her head and muscle spasms, said someone threw a shoe at her and she threw one back.
One girl then allegedly instructed the teens to form a circle and began hitting and kicking the victim. Several witnesses said they saw the girl fall to the floor and “appear to have a seizure and pass out,” according to the arrest report.
When he noticed the fight, the school bus driver pulled over to intervene. This temporarily stopped the fighting but soon after he continued driving again the fight restarted. The driver told authorities that he couldn’t control the chaos and drove to a nearby school to call officials.
When authorities began their investigation they interviewed all the students. Ten witnesses came forward to say that they saw seven students “commit battery upon the victim as a group,” according to the report.
These seven students – aged between 12 and 15 – were subsequently charged with battery and disorderly conduct.
Deputy Shannon Wiles wrote in the report that one 14-year-old girl climbed over several seats filled with students to get to the victim and “advised she punched the defendant repeatedly in the head, approximately 10-15 times because the victim called her a name.”
Austin L. Miller at the Ocala Star-Banner writes that school officials said it’s unlikely the defendants will be allowed on campus until their cases are resolved.
Current school discipline rules call for the students to be expelled or reassigned to another school, says Marion County Public Schools spokesman Kevin Christian.