The Long Island woman arrested on charges she encouraged two 12-year-old girls, one of them her own daughter, to fight outside a local school is speaking out, saying she allowed the fight to protect her daughter.
“Nobody is doing anything, and they keep doing these hurtful, hurtful things,” the woman, 32-year-old Daphne Melin, told New York’s ABC 7 of the cyber bulling she claims was inflicted on her daughter. “They harass her in school.”
The fight started on Facebook, where Melin claims her daughter was harassed and threatened by up to 10 young girls, and then played out the old-fashioned way, on a schoolyard near William Floyd Elementary School in Shirley, N.Y., the afternoon of Sept. 11.
Melin insists that neither the school nor the police were willing to get involved to protect her daughter from the cyber bullying, so she brought her daughter to the schoolyard to confront the girls.
Suffolk County police say Melin shouted encouragement to one of the girls as the fight was taking place, and made no effort to stop the fight.
A crowd of kids, drawn by a posting on Facebook, also attended the fight, and caught the whole thing on tape.
When one bystander called for Melin to intervene, she instead cursed and spit at the child, before then kneeing her in the neck and head twice, according to authorities.
When the video of the fight surfaced, again on Facebook, Melin was charged with attempted assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
Melin now admits she was wrong.
“You know, it’s just horrible,” Melin said. “I don’t encourage fighting, it’s not the right thing to do.”
None of the young girls involved were seriously hurt in the fight.
“I would never attack a 12-year-old, 13-year-old, I would never do that, I have no idea who that was, my back was turned,” Melin said.
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 Dec. 1, police said. She could face up to one year in state prison.