Police arrested an 11-year-old girl after a playground fight at a Missouri elementary school was captured on video (below).
The fifth-grader has been charged with felony assault on school property and will appear in court on Oct. 16, KSHB reports.
St. Joseph School District announced on Oct. 12 that it had launched its own investigation and was treating the incident as an assault, not just bullying.
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“It happened on the weekend, after-hours, but they were our students,” director of student services Solon Haynes told KSHB. “They happened on our school grounds. It was affecting our schools. It was brought back into our schools, so we felt we needed to address that issue.”
“If a student is charged with some type of crime, such as assault or selling drugs or rape or something of that nature, then we can suspend students up to 180 days or expel them from school,” Haynes added.
The girl’s mother did not respond to media questions, and her father refused to pass judgment.
“I know my child is 11 years old,” Dennis Roberman, the girl's father, said. "I've seen an edited video posted. People are starting to text me and call me and all these other things, but I do hope the other little lady is OK. But until I hear from my daughter, I can't really know what is going on."
Roberman, who lives in Texas, added that he had previously tried to secure custody of the girl.
The video shows one girl hanging onto a piece of playground equipment, while another attempts to pull her away by the hair, KFOR reports.
During the video, the 11-year-old can be seen punching and kicking the other girl repeatedly.
“It is important that we partner with parents and community members to prevent bullying and fighting no matter what time it occurs,” St. Joseph School District said in a statement, according to the St. Joseph News-Press. "One of our district priorities is to keep our students safe and educate them with programs designed to eradicate bullying."