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Vigilante Dad stands by daughter even though school board says her story is a fake

1-27-2006 Florida:

.A dad (David Swafford) who made national headlines and was even named father of the year by a local radio station for his act of vigilante justiceis speaking out again. He's charged with felony battery and now the Manatee County School Board says his daughter could be facing suspension or even expulsion for cooking up an entire story about a teachers assistant touching her inappropriately. The dad is not backing down though, even though the cards are stacking up against him.

Dave Swafford, Alleged Victim's Father: "I'm standing by my daughter. I believe my daughter she doesn't lie to me."

Dave Swafford was arrested for punching a Lakewood Ranch High School teachers assistant Tuesday after Swafford's daughter says the aide locked her in a classroom touching her inappropriately and making comments. But on Thursday, the Manatee County School Board dropped a bombshell.

Roger Dearing, Manatee County School Superintendent: "We have found that Mr. Mathis is not guilty of what this young lady has accused him of doing that her accusations are false timelines don't match up other students in class they don't corroborate her story." The school says Swafford's daughter and a few friends made up the story because the aide disciplined Swafford after she dumped a Coke on another students head. The school also says it has a videotape of the teachers aid on the opposite side of campus when the incident is alleged to have happened.

Roger Dearing, Manatee County School Superintendent: "This alleged victim and one of her friends went around and tried to get other girls to make false statements." The school says it was a student that came forward alerting authorities to what the girls were up to and during the investigation one girl admitted her allegations were a lie.

Dave Swafford, Alleged Victim's Father:
"They're covering their butts. I mean they have a pedophile in their school and they don't want a bunch of teachers suing them.. What they want to do is they want the parents scared they want the students scared and they want us all to turn our tails and run and obviously I don't turn my tail and run."

Swafford says his daughter went to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office Thursday and gave a recorded statement to deputies about her side of the story. We tried unsuccessfully to reach Deon Mathis, the teachers aide, for comment. He is expected back in school tomorrow. The manatee county sheriff's office says it's investigation into the matter is still open. ..more.. : by Sara Dorsey

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