The child arrived at a Florida school with bruises all over. But it was the T-shirt the child was wearing on that gave it away.
“I currently have all F’s in all of my classes. I am not aloud to have a boyfriend no time soon,” the shirt read. “So back off before I get another good woopin like I got last night.”
That attempt at public shaming led to the Friday arrest of Melany Joyce Alexander, 31, who was charged with child abuse. She posted a $2,500 bond a day later.
“She beat the child with a belt, and the belt had some sort of metal on it,” Hernando County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Denise Moloney told The Post. The beating, officials said, left marks and bruising on the child’s neck, arms and back. Authorities are not revealing the age nor gender of the child.
The Florida Department of Children and Families is also investigating the case involving the mother and her child, who is currently in the care of a stepfather, an agency spokesperson said.
After the child arrived at school with the markings and wearing the shirt, a school resource officer was notified and the child was given something else to wear, police said. “The injuries were severe enough that there was bruising the next day. That’s severe,” Moloney said. “Wanting your child to have good grades is great, but physical violence is no way to obtain that goal. There are other ways to coach your children.”
The front of the shirt read: “My name is [redacted]. I currently have all F’s in all of my classes. I am not aloud to have a boyfriend no time soon. So back off before I get another good woopin like I got last night. Also I can no longer have any friends until all of my F’s are all brought up to C’s and up!!!”
The back of it reads: “So unless you are helping me with this goal … back off!!! My eating French fries and being a social butterfly is over because I know why my parents send me to school. I now know the IMPORTANCE of my education. I will learn. I will listen to my teachers and be respectful, at all times. I will do these things because I am failing [redacted] due to my social life. Want to be my friend : ) Help me by not!!!”
“It’s obviously someone who went way way over the line,” Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis told Fox affiliate WTVT. “They were obviously seeing red when they did this and it’s disappointing because it’s a child.”
Nienhuis also told the station that Alexander admitted to “crossing the line.”
Alexander is forbidden from having contact with the child.
Moloney said the department has previously seen instances in which parents attempted to publicly shame their children over bad behavior; but this case, she said, is particularly problematic because of the apparent beating. The writing on the shirt, Moloney said, also shows that it “took a long time to do. So it was thought out.”