CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A Chesterfield mother has serious questions about her 16-year-old daughter being charged with crimes after she claims she was the victim of school bullying.
It follows two separate fights at Monacan High School that were captured on video. The parent says in each case, they show her daughter being attacked, and now she’s charged because she fought back.
The 16-year-old and her mom will head to court next week. The girl’s mother said she feels this is a matter should be handled through the school, not in the court of law.
"You’re punishing the victims,” Tameka Mayo said.
Like any parent, Mayo just wants what’s best for her child.
"I want to know that the child that’s the victim don’t get charged with things like this for protecting their self,” she said.
It started in October, and in one video, shows Mayo’s 16-year-old standing as another female student throws a blow. Another student then jumps in.
"A football player saved her, not an adult, a football player. [He] came through the crowd, picked my daughter over his shoulder and got her out the crowd,” Mayo said.
She went to the hospital with a dislocated shoulder. The teen was suspended and charged with assault.
Then just last week, a similar scenario.
"I could understand it if she was standing there and it was 'come on, let’s do this. I’m ready.’ It wasn’t the case…the assistant principal told me that from the video, she was not the aggressor,” Mayo continued.
Yet, the 16-year-old was charged with assault, again. Mayo says, it’s because she defended herself.
Chesterfield police confirm both students were charged in the fight last week.
They say it’s up to the officer on scene to determine if a fight should be a school matter or a criminal charge based on several factors including how severe the offense is, whether there’s a criminal history, and feedback from school staff.
“A mob of kids…all of these kids coming towards you and people jumping in and everybody’s getting a lick off…I want to know what’s going to happen to these kids that are bullied. What do we do? How do you protect them?” Mayo said.
Senate Bill 1258 is working through the General Assembly to place licensed behavior analysts at schools. Advocates say that would play a role in cutting what they call the school to prison pipeline.
A separate House Bill that would have banned charging students with disorderly conduct on school grounds failed this week.