17 students charged in rumble

A fight based on a girl getting chalk on her clothes sent 11 Josey High School students to jail Wednesday and resulted in one receiving a gash to the head.

Six juveniles involved in the fight also were charged with disorderly conduct and later released to their parents.

The fight between rival groups began in a hallway during a class change about 9:30 a.m. and was brought under control before 10 a.m., with a swarm of Board of Education officers and an ambulance responding.

Eleven students age 17 or older were charged with disorderly conduct, said school spokesman Louis Svehla. Officials said other charges are pending an investigation.

The six juveniles and those arrested now face a tribunal. The injured student was punched in the face and was treated at the school.

Josey Principal Ronald Wiggins said the fight involved an incident from the previous day, outside the school, in which someone put chalk on a female student's clothes.

He said the fight shouldn't cast a bad light on Josey, adding that discipline cases have dropped dramatically. In December, he said, the school received a commendation from the Georgia Department of Education for keeping such cases down in the past year and a half.

"Incidents such as this, while not truly indicative of the quality of our students and staff, persist and spring from community-related events," Dr. Wiggins said. "... this is an isolated incident."

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 828-3851 or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com.