Long Island News

Mom arrested for encouraging fight speaks out

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Long Island woman speaks out after she was arrested for encouraging her 12-year-old daughter to fight another child.

The incident happened outside of William Floyd Elementary School on September 11.

Police say 32-year-old Daphne Melin, of Shirley, encouraged her daughter to fight with another 12-year-old girl during a dispute at approximately 3 p.m. As the fight was taking place, authorities say Melin shouted encouragement to one of the girls and made no effort to stop the fight.

After the fight ended, police say Melin cursed at and spit at another child who had been part of a group that had gathered to watch the incident. Melin kicked that girl and kneed her in the neck and head twice, according to authorities.

"You know, it's just horrible," Melin said, admitting her actions were wrong. "I don't encourage fighting, it's not the right thing to do."

Melin claims her daughter was the victim of cyber bullying. She says that she was harassed and threatened by up to 10 young girls on Facebook.

She insists that neither the school nor the police was willing to get involved. So she brought her daughter to the schoolyard to confront the girls.

"Nobody is doing anything, and they keep doing these hurtful, hurtful things," Melin said. "They harass her in school."

Although neither girl was seriously hurt, Melin turned on one of the young spectators and struck her at least twice in the head with her knee.

When the video surfaced, Melin was charged with attempted assault and endangering the welfare of all three girls.

"I would never attack a 12-year-old, 13-year-old, I would never do that," she said. "I have no idea who that was, my back was turned."

In a statement, the school district said, "We were informed that the fight may have resulted from postings on Facebook among a group of teenage girls who are also students in our district. We have no further comment as it is now a police matter."

Melin was released on bail and will be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on December 1, 2011.

For more information on getting help for bullying and cyberbullying please visit: http://www.biashelp.org/

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