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Bullied teen faces criminal charges for school fight

When kids get into trouble at school, there is an expectation that the situation will be handled appropriately. They may face suspension or academic penalties, depending on what the situation may call for. And while parents may certainly be upset that their child has gotten into trouble, there should be the understanding that they will not be punished unfairly or to an inappropriate degree.

However, there are times when law enforcement authorities decide to get involved for one reason or another and the situation can quickly spin out of control. It doesn't always make sense, and it can be very frightening for both parents and children to learn that a schoolyard indiscretion has resulted in criminal charges. For example, one teen was recently charged with battery after she got into a fight at school. The others involved were only suspended, which has left many people wondering if officials have unfairly targeted the one girl, who is also transgender.

According to reports, the transgender teen got into fight after enduring taunts and bullying by classmates for years. One afternoon, she allegedly snapped and fought back against three girls. School officials suspended all of them after the fight, but it was only the 16-year-old victim who then learned she would be facing criminal charges. 

The community has rallied around the young girl, and even the school district's president has spoken out against the unfair treatment by authorities. He says that the decision to charge just the one girl is biased and completely inappropriate and says that the matter should be handled by the school, as it already had been. Hopefully the situation will be resolved quickly and fairly.

It can be crucial for people facing juvenile criminal matters to work with an attorney to protect a child from inappropriate punishment and the threat of a criminal record, especially when the charges themselves are questionable. Young people are quite capable of making poor decisions, but it is often unreasonable for them to pay for these juvenile mistakes for the rest of their lives.

Source: New York Daily News, "Transgender teen bullied at school faces criminal charges for fight which only suspended other girls," Nina Golgowski, Jan. 9, 2014

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Lerner & Lerner, P.C.

Former prosecutors with more than 50 years of combined experience

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