COVINGTON, Ga. — A Newton County student could face a range of punishments after allegedly striking a teacher in the head so severely she had to seek medical attention recently.
An adult and 13 juvenile witnesses watched the student hit the fifth-grade teacher March 11 at Fairview Elementary School in west Newton, according to a Newton County Sheriff’s Office incident report.
The victim told School Resource Officer Deputy Mark Hegwood she wished to press charges through Juvenile Court against the student.
Spokesperson Sherri Partee said the Newton County School System (NCSS) is “aware of an incident involving a student and teacher that resulted in the teacher seeking medical attention.”
“The situation has been reported to law enforcement and the student has been disciplined for violating the student code of conduct,” Partee said.
The NCSS Student Code of Conduct for elementary school students, posted on the district website, states that section 39 of the Code, titled “Physical Violence Against A School System Employee,” defines the offense as committing physical violence against employees — including individuals who are employed by other agencies and contract with the school system.
It says “physical violence against an employee” is “intentionally making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with the person of another or intentionally making physical contact which causes physical harm to another unless such physical contacts or physical harms were in defense of himself or herself …”
If charged, the student must receive a minimum 10-day suspension from school and be referred to a formal hearing, the Code states.
“If the case is found to involve physical violence, the hearing officer will submit its findings and recommendations to the Board of Education for imposition of punishment in accordance with GA Code 20-2-751 (state law),” it stated.
A student found guilty “shall be expelled for the remainder of the student’s eligibility to attend public school” — though an alternative education program may be permitted, the Code states.
It also allows the Board to permit students up to eighth grade to re-enroll in Newton County Schools for grades nine through 12.
In addition, the Board can permit a students up to sixth grade to enroll in Newton County Schools on a date the Board “deems appropriate.”
“Students who repeatedly violate the various rules and regulations may be subject to disciplinary action more severe than the disposition specified for the individual offenses committed, up to and including suspension for a formal hearing and possible long-term suspension or expulsion.”