Deputies arrested a Brooksville woman accused of beating a child with a belt and making her wear a T-shirt to school that said she had bad grades and wasn't allowed to have a boyfriend.
Melany Joyce Alexander was arrested last Friday and charged with child abuse after a deputy responded to West Hernando Middle School to investigate a report of abuse.
According to the arrest report, the deputy determined that the student arrived at school wearing a T-shirt with marker pen writing on the front and back. The front of the shirt read, "I currently have all Fs in all of my classes. I am not aloud [sic] have a boyfriend no time soon. So back off before I get another good wooping [sic] like I got last night."
The shirt also said the child cannot have any friends until her Fs are up to at least Cs.
The deputy identified "numerous bruises and belt marks to the child's arms and shoulders down to her wrists" consistent with being struck by what the child described as a white leather belt with holes and metal divots. The divots left "clear impressions in several places, including both arms, neck, chest, back and legs," the report said.
Alexander was interviewed at her home by the deputy and a Department of Children and Families staffer and "was very uncooperative, but later stated she did, in fact, strike (the child) numerous times with a white leather belt because she was failing school."
Parents at West Hernando Middle School said they are stunned by the allegations.
"You don't treat a child like that," Amy Benedetto said. "You don't treat anyone like that."
School officials had the girl take the shirt off and gave her something more appropriate to wear.
The arrest report did not specify the relationship between Alexander and the girl. Alexander is being on a no-bond charge because of its domestic nature.