NJ mom: I didn't slap boy who bullied my daughter
TOMS RIVER, N.J. - October 22, 2012 (WPVI) -- A New Jersey woman, who says her 9-year-old daughter was bullied, took matters into her own hands and confronted one of the students she says harassed the girl.
Now, the mother is facing assault charges, even though she denied touching or hitting anyone.
Rebecca Sardoni, 28, and her mother boarded a school bus Friday morning bound for East Dover Elementary School, looking for a boy they claimed had been bullying her daughter on the bus.
Sardoni asked for a boy named Vinnie, who she says was part of a group of kids bullying her nine-year-old daughter.
"She then walked back three quarters of the length of the bus, identified the boy who raised his hand, and then she allegedly struck him," said Chief Mike Mastronardy of the Toms River Police.
Police say Sardoni also smacked a boy named Nick sitting next to Vinnie while screaming, cursing and threatening bodily harm to the children.
"I want to make it 100% clear that I never put my hands on anybody," Rebecca Sardoni told Action News.
Sardoni denies hitting the boys and says she shouldn't have gotten on the bus but was frustrated because, she claims, her daughter was being bullied and sexually assaulted and officials at East Dover Elementary were not responding to her complaints.
"The principal knew it and I called her over and over again. My daughter is 100% the victim and I can't believe how this got turned around like these boys are the victim," she said.
School officials maintain they were not notified about the bullying until late Thursday afternoon, and that there was no mention of a sexual assault was raised until after Rebecca Sardoni was arrested.
"Regardless, a parent does not ever, ever, ever get on a bus and strike a child, any child," said Toms River Superintendent Frank Roselli. "In my 30-plus years in the district I never heard of a situation like this."
The boys were treated by school nurses for cuts to their mouths and one was taken by his parents to the hospital for treatment of a neck injury.
Sardoni is charged with assault, trespassing and making terroristic threats.
Sardoni's mother, the girl's grandmother, was also on the bus, but is not accused of hitting anyone.
Both police and the school district are continuing the investigation into the bus incident and the accusations that led up to it in Tom's River.
children, assault, new jersey, local/state
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