A Boca Raton teenage student was recently beaten up by multiple classmates in a park outside of school grounds, according to New York Daily News. The incident was caught on video by dozens of students who stood by, watching and filming as at least four white girls beat a Muslim girl with fists as she lay on the ground attempting to cover and protect her head and face. Police say that race and religion were not an issue, and that the altercation was caused over a boy. However, the victim’s father said that the bullying was racially and ethnically charged, and that the girl’s classmates had been sending threatening text messages because she was Muslim. Most likely because the incident was caught on camera, and because of the apparent brutality of the beating, criminal charges are pending for the minors who physically assaulted the victim. While minors are rarely treated the same as adults when it comes to battery and assault, the penalties are still very often severe. And, if the motive is found to be racially charged, the offense could be raised in status as a hate crime. Bullying charges, which the girls may be facing, can also end with serious penalties and even incarceration.
What is Bullying?
Bullying offenses fall under Florida Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act statute 1006.147, and include a broad range of offenses. These offenses can carry serious penalties, depending on the circumstances. For instance, multiple teenage girls were charged with third degree stalking charges for the bullying of a classmate, who ended up killing herself by jumping off a building. The offending girls even posted online the next day bragging that they had bullied her and did not care that she was dead, according to USA Today. The girls had been terrorizing the victim for months through online forums and texts. Bullying includes all of the following:
- Social exclusion;
- Physical violence;
- Sexual, religious, or racial harassment;
- Public or private humiliation;
- Destruction of property;
- Cyberbullying; and
This statute applies to and protects any employee or student of a K-12 public education institution. All types of bullying are prohibited during education programs or activities; during school-related or sponsored activities and programs, including during school bus rides; and through data or computer software accessed through a computer system. The latter includes all types of devices, whether they are personally or publicly owned. Cyberbullying has grown to become the most common type of bullying by students, and prosecutors are handling all claims as serious offenses.
Call a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Bullying charges and allegations need to be dealt with immediately by an attorney. Cyberbullying, assault, and other forms of bullying can carry life-long lasting implications for your minor child, as felonies are on one’s record permanently. This can affect their ability to receive college scholarships, to hold certain career licenses, and to find decent employment at all. Make no mistake, you need legal help and the West Palm Beach law offices of the Skier Law Firm are here to assist you.