Breana Evans, a 12-year-old girl, was recently arrested after pinching a boy's butt at Milwee Middle School in Longwood, Florida, in early March (video below).
"I regret it because I didn't know it would lead to this," Breana told News 6. "I feel like it's just stupid, just a stupid charge that shouldn't have to happen."
"Lord, Lord, Lord, what has this world come to, man?" Ray Evans, Breana's dad, said. "Kid can't even be a kid."
Breana said the butt-pinching was part of a game she played with classmates at school, but now the tween is facing a misdemeanor battery charge.
The unidentified boy reportedly told a school resource officer about the pinching incident but refused to press charges; Breana was subsequently suspended from school. Breana said she didn't know the boy whose butt she pinched.
However, the boy's mother called deputies during the week of March 13 and told them she wanted to press criminal charges against Breana.
The girl was charged and booked at a juvenile detention facility.
“That’s what the deputy told me," Ray recalled. "He said, ‘You know, I don’t even want to do this.’ That’s what the deputy said, ‘But I have to do what I have to do.'"
The boy's mother did not respond to News 6, but Ray had a message for her, "I'm sorry, that's all I can say for you, lady, because you need some help I think, too overprotective."
"I'm sorry for touching your kid," Breana added.
The state attorney in Seminole County said the criminal charge will be dismissed and Breana's record will be clean if she completes a diversion program, performs community service and passes drug tests, even though she was never charged with any type of drug-related crime.
While Breana's situation might sound odd, arrests of children at school are becoming more common.
Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization, told The Wall Street Journal in 2014 that school kids can be charged with disorderly conduct if they talk back or disrupt classrooms, and school fights are now grounds for assault and battery charges.
In 2014, the U.S. Justice and Education Departments warned school-based police officers to “not become involved in routine school disciplinary matters.” The Justice Department is challenging this type of criminal discipline in lawsuits around the U.S.
The Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights found that 260,000 students were reported to police by schools in 2012, and 92,000 kids were arrested.