OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - A 13-year-old girl is facing felony charges Monday because of a fight at her middle school.
She said the whole thing is a misunderstanding.
Efrain Ayala said his daughter, Linda Ayala, didn't mean to hurt the teacher and said she was trying to run away from the situation when they both fell down.
Linda is on a 10-day suspension, facing expulsion and criminal charges.
Efrain showed Channel 9 the paperwork.
"My daughter is 5 foot, 115 pounds, she's a sweet girl," Efrain said.
He said Linda and another girl were arguing Thursday and she said she pulled away when teacher Gregory Gahris tried to break it up.
She said Gahris grabbed her from behind as she was running to the school office.
Efrain said she didn't know who was grabbing her. Linda fell, and so did Gahris.
Witnesses said Gahris was knocked unconscious.
Osceola County Education Association President Apryle Jackson said she read police witness statements, and spoke to Gahris.
She said Gahris is a gentle person and was trying to corral Linda. She said she pushed him in the chest and he fell and hit his head.
"He was facing her and she shoved him," Jackson said.
She said that's why he's pressing charges.
The Osceola County Sheriff's Office confirmed it filed felony charges with the state attorney's office.
Half a dozen students said it appeared Linda Ayala had her back to Gahris and was trying to get away. She elbowed the teacher and they both fell forward.
"She was trying to get away," said student Jasonya Alica.
That's why Linda's parents feel the case deserves another look.
"This can affect all my daughter's life," Efrain said.
He said his daughter has been in trouble for back-talking in class before, but nothing like this.
It will be up to the state attorney's office to determine if it will pursue criminal charges against Linda Ayala.
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