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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Girl stabbed in eye on bus
A school bus spat gets physical when a girl slaps a boy, who then stabs her with a pen, deputies say.
By HELEN ANNE TRAVIS, Times Staff Writer
Published January 16, 2008
DADE CITY - A 14-year-old boy, barely 5 feet tall, was arrested Monday and charged with aggravated battery after deputies say he stabbed a 13-year-old girl in the eye with a pen, possibly damaging her vision permanently.
She slapped him first, he said.
"If she would have kept her damn hands to herself, none of this would have happened," the eighth-grade boy told sheriff's deputies, according to the report.
The Times is not releasing the kids' names because of their ages.
The stabbing took place on the afternoon bus ride home from Centennial Middle School, deputies said. The boy began to taunt her, the girl told deputies. Shut up, was the seventh-grader's responss. She said she'd slap him if he didn't stop.
The boy told deputies he giggled at the threat. But she followed through. That's when deputies say the boy stabbed the girl in her left eye with a pen, possibly damaging her cornea.
It's unclear whether the incident happened while the bus was moving or at a stop. The bus did not have a video camera. The girl told the bus driver what happened and ran home. Her family called the authorities.
She was transported to Lakeland Regional Hospital for emergency surgery. She was released from the hospital Tuesday, her family said. She still cannot see.
"We don't know how it's all going to come out yet," said her mother, Marjorie Simmons.
Wednesday, they will trek back to Lakeland to see a specialist.
Deputies took into account that she slapped the boy first.
"It still doesn't justify stabbing someone in the eye," said Doug Tobin, department spokesman.
The girl said the boy was a troublemaker in their Dade City neighborhood. He said the same about her. Centennial Middle School principal Tom Rulison did not want to talk about either student's past behavior.
The boy was transported to the county's juvenile detention center. He showed no remorse for his actions, deputies said.
When he heard that the girl may be seriously injured, deputies said this was his response:
"Good. She should have kept her hands to herself."