Homestead - South Dade

Middle-schooler bullied in Homestead fight; family considers relocating

The first punch that hit Angelina Rodriguez-Padron was from a girl in pink shorts. Then more fists flew toward her. She tried to fight back, but the group overpowered her. They hit, kicked and dragged the middle-schooler by her ponytail into the street.

The fight ended when a shirtless man stepped in to get her to her feet.

A young bystander filmed the melee on a cellphone and posted the video to YouTube.

The girls, including Angelina, were suspended from Homestead Middle School, 650 NW Second Ave. Angelina’s mother reported the fight to Miami-Dade Schools Police.

“The principal actually suspended her, saying she participated,” a relative of Angelina said in an interview with CBS4. The man did not want to be identified. The principal indicated “she should’ve got on the ground and balled up in a ball. When she was on the ground, they were kicking her in the head and stomping on her.”

A Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokesman said that Angelina’s suspension was overturned.

"Miami-Dade Schools Police responded to an off-campus altercation back in January,” spokeswoman Daisy Gonzalez-Diego wrote in an email. “MDSPD issued civil citations and school administration took appropriate disciplinary action against the parties involved.”

The family, however, wants more than suspension. They’re accusing the girls, who are alleged gang members, of more bullying and harassment than what’s on the video. There have also been reports of additional incidents — broken windows, verbal threats, and burglary — beyond the schoolyard.

On Friday, Rodriguez-Padron’s older sister started a GoFundMe campaign to get her family out of the neighborhood.

The family is requesting $4,000 to relocate. In less than a day, people have donated $1,070 to the cause.

“I don’t live with my mom because I live out of state, but I am trying to raise money to help them move,” she wrote on the website. “Please help, donate what you can, and share our story.”

 

To help Angelina Rodriguez-Padron’s family, visit http://www.gofundme.com/angelinasfamily.

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