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Judge's ban of student from Duval public schools to be challenged

5:57 PM, Apr 11, 2013   |    comments
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  • Attorney Richard Brown to ask for rehearing, appeal to higher court if necessary
  • Oceanway Middle school is where both students attended
  • Aria Jewett and mother sought protective injunction in court from attacker who injured her last month
  • Judge Henry Davis issued ruling banning girl from public schools in Duval

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The attorney representing a 14-year-old girl accused of felony battery said he will challenge a judge's ruling banning her from all Duval County Public Schools.

Aria Jewett was beaten up off campus last month by a fellow classmate at Oceanway Middle school, suffering a skull fracture and severe concussion. Her mother Melissa Thomas calls it bullying and went to court to keep her daughter's attacker out of Oceanway Middle School and away from her daughter.

Judge Henry Davis granted the injunction and banned the 14-year old girl accused of battery against Jewett from attending any Duval County public school.

"What I find troubling is kids are dropping out of school because of the violence in schools," Davis said. "Children are simply afraid to attend school and this is something that should not be tolerated. Parents and students must realize there are consequences for this kind of behavior, certainly bullying and beating up your classmates will have consequences."

Attorney Richard Brown represents the girl charged with attacking Jewett. Brown said the judge has no legal precedent for this action.

"I don't think it is within the purview of the court to bar someone entirely from school, because that does not relate to what the petitioner is asking for," said Brown. "That does not make the petitioner any safer to keep her from every single public school and it is not the role of the court in an injunction hearing to protect every single student in the schools, just the petitioner asking for the relief."

Brown said he was surprised at the ruling, even asked the judge to repeat it because he had never heard of such a ruling. He'll ask for another hearing before Judge Davis.

"If that is unsuccessful, it will be appealed. While we are waiting we have a young child, a 14-year old child who basically doesn't have anywhere to go to get an education. That is against the law. She is supposed to be in school and there is no place to go. "

Brown said home schooling and private school are not an option for the family.

Kimber Goldsmith and Tammy Arias work at a salon close to Oceanway Middle. Both have children at the school and they support the judge's ruling.

"I agree with the judge, if she is going to bully at this school, she is going to bully at another school. Evidently he had reasons not known to us to feel she should not go to school," said Goldsmith, who has a 6th grade son at the school.

Arias has a daughter in eighth grade at Oceanway Middle and supports the judge 100 percent.

"She has to learn a lesson, you can't go around bullying kids and thinking that it is OK."

First Coast News

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