Two brothers guilty of violating school rules

Brothers involved in incident that hurt pregnant teacher

A 13-year-old Collins Elementary School student and his 12-year-old brother have been found guilty of conduct and discipline violations in a case in which a pregnant teacher was injured.

 

The findings from the two special needs students' Feb. 2 tribunal were made public Wednesday.

The 12-year-old was suspended for five days "and will be provided special education services as required by law," according to the tribunal summary issued by Richmond County school board attorney Pete Fletcher's office.

The 13-year-old was assigned to the Tubman Education Center Alternative Program for two years, but a panel agreed to revise that decision should the student later be deemed eligible for the Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support program, which provides services to students with severe emotional or behavioral disorders.

Locally, a Sand Hills GNETS program is offered on Tate Road in Augusta for seven surrounding counties, including Richmond.

According to the tribunal summary, which identifies both students only by the initials D.J., "The parent admitted the students were guilty of the rule violations."

The violations listed for the 13-year-old include disrupting and interfering with school; physical assault on an employee of the school system; physical violence against teachers, a school bus driver or other school official or employee; physical assault and or fighting with a person not employed by the school system; disregard of directions or commands; and noncompliance with rules and regulations.

The 12-year-old was found guilty of disrupting and interfering with school; disregarding directions or commands; and noncompliance with rules and regulations.

Officials have said the incident occurred on Jan. 20 when the 13-year-old left class and brought his brother to a teacher's classroom to confront another student. According to the tribunal summary, while the 13-year-old tried to fight that student he "hit a teacher in the eye, knocked over a podium onto a student, causing injury to the student, and hit a pregnant teacher on her arm and in her stomach. The teacher sought medical attention."

The pregnant teacher was out on leave for three days after the incident, but school officials have refused to comment on the baby's condition.

Earlier this month, school officials decided to press a criminal charge of aggravated battery against the 13-year-old. Aggravated battery is a felony that's committed according to Georgia law "when he or she maliciously causes bodily harm to another by depriving him or her of a member of his or her body, by rendering a member of his or her body useless, or by seriously disfiguring his or her body or a member thereof."

Officials have said the 12-year-old didn't strike the teacher, and criminal charges can't be filed against a student younger than 13.

The criminal case involving the 13-year-old is now in the hands of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

Initially, the school system's safety office wasn't notified by the school's principal, who said he reported the case to the school system's central office.

After hearing about the incident from a Chronicle reporter five days later, school safety Lt. Richard Roundtree initiated an investigation to determine whether criminal charges were warranted.

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