A 12-year-old girl was arrested after police said she was bullying another student that attended a private middle school in Stamford.
A 13-year-old girl told her parents that she was being bullied, taunted and harassed by the 12-year-old girl.
According to school administrators, the two eighth-grade girls attended Trailblazers Academy and had been friends since sixth grade.
However, at beginning of this year, school officials said there was a disagreement between the two girls and staff went as far as to change their homerooms. They were also enrolled in girls circle groups and worked with the school staff daily.
"Despite working daily with the constant support of school staff, the girls could not repair their relationship and failed to communicate clearly about their differences," said Mike Duggan, executive director of Domus, in a statement Thursday night.
On Sept. 18, one of the girls, whose name was not released, along with her parents made a complaint to police.
Police said the bullying continued and got worse. Investigators said the best way to prevent further bullying was to step in. They arrested the 12-year-old girl, who was charged with disorderly conduct, on Tuesday.
"This behavior will not be tolerated," Stamford police Capt. Richard Conklin said. "If it is brought to our attention, we will vigorously investigate the allegations and make arrests when appropriate. We investigate all claims of bullying, and this type of behavior will not be condoned in a learning environment."
Police said it became so bad that the victim even spoke of wanting to commit suicide. The administrators at the school were notified about the arrest.
"She did seem remorseful," said Stamford police Lt. Diedrich Hohn. "She was crying and didn't understand the magnitude until she got here."
Duggan said "no physical contact occurred between the girls."
After she was arrested, the 12-year-old girl was later released to her parents, police said.
The 12-year-old girl will have to go in front of a juvenile judge and prosecutor, police said. She will also most likely have to attend anti-bullying classes or receive some type of social services, police added.
Police said they do prevention in schools and could be called to talk to students at that school.
"Many youth in Domus programs are dealing with traumatic things that have happened to them, and they are working hard to grow and heal. Sometimes, they make mistakes and behave in ways that don't solve the problem or even make it worse. While we understand how and why these behaviors happen, we do not tolerate behaviors like this in our learning environment, and we intervene whenever we see or notice something, or when a concern is brought to us by a student or adult," Duggan said.
On Thursday night, they urged parents to talk to their kids about bullying and that if it happens, to tell an adult.
Some residents in town said arresting a 12-year-old is not only drastic, but overdoing it.
"The school could have handled it," Stamford resident Courtney Williams said. "The girl could have got expelled or things like that. But to arrest her? That's overdoing it."
Students also reacted to the arrest Thursday.
"I don't think that's right," said Veena Weerakoon, who is a freshman at Stamford High School. "Even though she was bullying someone, she's only 12."
"I think she knew what she was doing was wrong, and her getting arrested is appropriate," said Juliana Ferraro, who is a sophomore at Stamford High School.
In neighboring Greenwich, 15-year-old Bart Palosz killed himself on the first day of school, and several people said it was because of relentless bullying by classmates.
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The Greenwich Police Department is investigating the suicide of a high school student on the first day of school.Greenwich police said Bartlomiej (Bart) Palosz died from a self-inflicted gunshot woundFull Story >
The Greenwich High School student that committed suicide on the first day of school may have been a victim of bullying.Full Story >