Wednesday, October 15, 2008

FL: 9-year-old arrested at school

SPECIAL NOTE: This little girl was arrested after being placed in a "time out room" - for spitting at two teachers while they tried to "control her."

By WINK News

Story Created: Oct 15, 2008 at 6:19 PM EDT
Story Updated: Oct 15, 2008 at 7:05 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - A 9-year-old girl was arrested at Royal Palm School on Tuesday and is now facing two felony charges for battery on an education employee.

Her mother, Tarina Williams, tells us she's at her wits end, "I was really devastated about it."

We are not naming the girl because of her age.

In a report released to WINK News, the school resource officer says he was called to the school's time out room regarding an out of control student.

The report says the girl purposely spit on her two teachers while they tried to control her.

The girl told us, "They came up to me and said you have the right to remain silent...they had handcuffed me, they had em on real tight."

The fourth grader was transported to the Juvenile Assessment Center.

Williams says she was out of the county when she got the call.

"The lady was like she's been charged with two felonies and I was like...two felonies? For what??" recalled Williams, "That's kind of steep because she's only 9."

Williams says her daughter suffers a mental illness, "She's incapable of knowing what she's done."

She explained the illness is the reason why her daughter attends Royal Palm School, a school designed for special needs students.

According to the arrest report, the 9-year-old has had a troubled past, accused of kicking and throwing chairs at teachers, and threatening to stab them.

Williams says it's the illness and she doesn't know where to turn anymore.

"She's been to several schools and I've lost several jobs because I have to be a stay at home mom to be on point at times for [her]," said Williams.

"If only the person knew the things I go through, the depression I'm going through because I'm at my wits end," said Williams, "It's like my back is against the wall."

WINK News spoke with the Lee County School District about the case.

A spokesman would not comment on the girl's case, however we are told it is not the school's intent to punish the child.

When it comes to situations like this, the spokesman explained there comes a time when the schools have to get other agencies involved so they can begin the process of getting a child the help they need, which would be above and beyond what the school district can provide.

Williams says she's not sure if or when her daughter will return to school, "I don't know what's next, I really don't."

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