Mother accused of striking girl in face after she bullied daughter

CINCINNATI -- Was it the case of a mother teaching her daughter to defend herself from a bully or did she cross a line and punch a 12-year-old girl in the face?

Anna Gibert believes the incident that put her sister, Valerie Harper, in the Hamilton County Detention Center Monday was an issue of defense.

"My sister didn't start this,” Gibert said

Gibert said Harper, a mother pregnant with twins, encouraged her 10-year-old daughter to defend herself outside of their Vine Street apartment Monday afternoon when the girl was followed home from school.

The 12-year-old, Gibert said, had taunted her niece for some time.

Harper admitted to police that she told her 10-year-old to stand up to the bully, and that a fight between the two children occurred outside of their home a short time later.

“She was just trying to get her daughter to resolve the situation because the girl kept coming for her daughters.  So, sometimes the only way to resolve this was to get out there and fight,” Gibert said.

A complaint filed with police stated Harper stepped out into that street as well and struck the 12-year-old.

“My sister never put her hand on a 12-year-old girl. She's above that. That's very low," Gibert said.

Harper was arrested shortly after the complaint was filed. She was arraigned in court Tuesday afternoon.

A $10,000 bond was set after she was charged with striking a child.

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