'Serial bully' banished from Duval County schools

Published On: Apr 10 2013 05:35:56 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 10 2013 11:48:00 PM EDT

A Duval County judge takes the unprecedented decision to banish a 14-year-old charged with felony battery not just from her middle school, but all Duval County public schools for beating her classmate unconscious.


One day after a judge banned a girl who beat her unconscious from the Duval County School District, 14-year-old Aria Jewett sat on the steps of the courthouse.

"I got there before the paramedics, and I was just hysterical," said Jewett's mother, Melissia Thomas. "I didn't know what to say. I didn't know what to do. I was just grateful that my child was alive."

Thomas says she dropped her daughter off early at school one day last month, and Jewett walked off campus to go two blocks to a convenience store in Oceanway when another 14-year-old student threatened to beat her up. Jewett's attorney says she tried to walk away, but the bully literally grabbed her by her hair and dragged her. Then her attorney says the bully slammed Jewett's head up against this wall, and that's the last thing the 14-year-old remembered of the attack.

Jewett was taken to the hospital. According to the police report, Jewett suffered a basal skull fracture and concussion.

"She couldn't say her name or her birthday, and they were really concerned about that," Thomas said. "She really wasn't responding; she wasn't really talking much or anything like that."

The bully was arrested and charged with felony battery.

Jewett's attorney, John Phillips, said the bully made a show of it.

"She was a serial bully, and she would not only beat kids up -- the weaker kids, or the kids who were pretty or whatever -- but she would videotape it. So kids knew whenever the video cameras came out and she was around that she was about to jump one of her victims."

On Tuesday, Judge Henry Davis made a landmark ruling hoping to help stop the bullying.

"In an injunction hearing, we were asking for (that) assailant to be removed from Oceanway Middle School. (Judge Davis) took her entirely out of Duval County because he found that she was a threat not just to Aria Jewett, but to every single student in Duval County," Phillips said. "I've never heard of a judge doing that. We applaud him and it's fantastic."

Phillips hopes the ruling will set a precedent for other kids who commit such violent acts.


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