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Mother Throws Pepper in Eyes of Alleged Bullies
The mother of a bullied Florida schoolgirl is in jail after allegedly throwing an irritating powder into the eyes of two of her daughter’s alleged attackers. Simone Jones, 46, walked her 10-year-old daughter to Cambridge Elementary School in Cocoa, Florida on Oct. 1 when she saw two of the children her daughter said had been bullying her, according to Florida Today. Jones approached the two alleged bullies, ages 8 and 11, and threw a powdery irritant into their eyes. The two children ran screaming into the school office. Both alleged bullies told the school administration that a parent had confronted them and put something in their eyes. They also said Jones had told them, “Leave my daughter alone.” “She confronted them and told them, basically, to leave her daughter alone, and threw what we believe is a cayenne pepper mixture with salt at the two females,” Cocoa Police Department spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez told WFTV. Other witnesses said they saw Jones pointing at a child’s face before the attack. Jones fled the campus before school officials could find her. Jones was later arrested and charged with child abuse, disruption of a school function and battery. She is currently being held at the Brevard County Jail Complex on an $11,500 bond. At her arraignment, the judge ordered Jones to steer clear of the students and the Cambridge Elementary School campus if Jones was able to bond out, WFTV reported. The school nurse treated the two students for burning noses and inflamed, tearing eyes. The nurse said red and white powder smelled like cayenne pepper. Brevard County Sheriff’s officials told WESH that the powdery mixture included cayenne pepper and salt. “We were told that her daughter was being bullied by these girls,” Cocoa Police Department spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez told Florida Today. “But that doesn’t justify what she did.” Daughter Allegedly Endured Months of Abuse Larry Barkley, the husband of Simmone James, said that their daughter had been enduring bullying for months. The parents had reported the bullying and school officials said they were investigating, but no action had been taken. Barkley said he and Jones were tired of the ongoing assaults on their daughter. "My daughter's scared to death," Larry Barkley told NBC Miami. "My wife got to walk her to school and I don't think it’s fair." Barkley told Fox News, "I stand by what my wife did for one reason. You do not attack no one's child. And beat them up, and have them afraid to walk the street or ride a bike." Matt Reed, Assistant Superintendant of Brevard County Schools, told WFTV, “They reported the bullying—the alleged bullying—to school administration, which by law and policy, was doing an investigation of the bullying. That’s an extensive process.” Cocoa Police spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez said she understood Jones’ action but could not condone it. "Any mom is going to defend her child, but this is not the way to do it," Martinez told NBC Miami. "You don't resort to violence to deal with it."