A month into the school year and students seem to have had plenty of time to nurse grudges and get into other kinds of trouble, as manifested by a string of recent fights, altercations and criminal activity on school grounds throughout Newton County.
An Alcovy High School teacher and coach reported to Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies that a former student had threatened to hurt him and his family and tried to extort money via cell phone text messages on Aug. 27 and 28.
The former student, Bertalan Andras Darazs, Jr., 18, of Covington, had reportedly sent the teacher a text message around 11:30 p.m. Aug. 27. The teacher reportedly had Darazs in his class the previous year.
Darazs was arrested and charged with terroristic threats and acts felony. He was booked into the Newton County Detention Center around 11 a.m. Aug. 28 and bonded out six days later on a $1,500 property bond.
At Eastside High School, three students were arrested for selling and purchasing amphetamines on school grounds Aug. 28.
The students, a 14-year-old male, 15-year-old male and 16-year-old female, were seen in a transaction for prescription pills in the hallway of Eastside sometime between 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., according to the report.
When confronted about their activities, they allegedly confessed, said NCSO spokesperson Investigator Sharron Stewart.
They were charged with violation of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act, possession with intent to distribute and transaction within a school safety zone, said Stewart. According to the secondary school handbook for the Newton County School System, the students are subject to a mandatory 10-day suspension and formal hearing.
An all-out brawl broke out between three teenagers at Sharp Learning Center Aug. 28 around 12:30 p.m.
When a School Resource Officer passed near their classroom, he reportedly saw a 17-year-old punching a 16-year-old in the back of the head. Another 16-year-old had one of the teens in a headlock pushed against the wall.
The deputy pulled them off each other and escorted them to the front office. All three students received a 10-day suspension and a scheduled formal hearing. Juvenile complaints were filed against two of the teenagers and the 17-year-old was taken to the Newton County Detention Center.
Middle-school-aged students are not immune to conflicts as well, with a number of fights breaking out on school buses in the county.
On Tuesday morning, two 14-year-old girls were arrested after getting into a fight involving a knife, according to an NCSO report.
The girls allegedly had gotten into a fist-fight on the school bus on Covington Bypass road. One girl pulled out a knife and allegedly carved up the bus seat, but no one was injured.
When deputies arrived at the bus parked on Covington Bypass Road, they saw one black female student sitting directly behind the bus driver and holding a black-handled kitchen knife. She dropped it upon the deputy's order and the student went without incident into the deputy's patrol car.
The other black female student, who had reportedly initiated the fight, became belligerent as she was taken to another patrol car and began fighting with the deputies. She was handcuffed before being put into the patrol car.
Both girls were taken to the Newton County Detention Center and had juvenile complaints filed against them. The girl with the knife was charged with affray fighting misdemeanor, possession of a weapon in a school zone and criminal trespass. The other girl was charged with a felony obstruction of officers and affray fighting misdemeanor.
Two Veteran's Middle School students broke out into a physical tussle Aug. 25 while waiting for their bus.
The girls, both 11-year-olds, were waiting in the loading area when the fight broke out around 3:55 p.m. They were quickly broken apart by a teacher and taken to the administration office. No one was reportedly injured.
A fight erupted between two 11-year-old boys on a school bus Aug. 29 on Brown Bridge Road around 3:45 p.m. No weapons were reportedly involved and no one was injured.
All the Newton County school buses come with video surveillance, said NCPS spokesperson Sherri Viniard, and monitors are assigned to buses as needed.