One Mother Pleads No Contest, Another Not Guilty After Middle-School Brawl in Rhode Island

One mother pleaded no contest and another pleaded not guilty on Thursday in a mother-daughter brawl at a middle school.

Authorities said Ana Rivera, 44, who pleaded not guilty on a simple assault charge, drove her suspended 13-year-old daughter to Woonsocket Middle School on Monday so she could fight another 13-year-old girl.

Both students' mothers, two other girls and a teacher were eventually involved in the fracas, police said.

The second mother, 34-year-old Maribel Santiago, pleaded no contest to simple assault.

She said she went to the school to pick up her daughter because of recent threats. Authorities said she hit a school official who tried to break up the fight.

Judge Michael Higgins ordered Santiago to stay out of trouble for a year. If she does, the assault case will be dropped.

"I believe they are making a big deal out of a simple thing," Santiago said outside court. She said that with the plea "at least my record is going to be clean."

Rivera was released on $1,000 bail and ordered to see a public defender.

All four girls were charged with disorderly conduct, and Santiago's daughter was suspended for 10 days.

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