Richmond County Board of Education officers responded this morning to a fight between 17 students at Josey High School that resulted in one student receiving minor injuries.
The fight began at about 9:30 a.m. and was brought under control before 10 a.m. Eleven students age 17 or older were arrested and will be charged with disorderly conduct, said school spokesman Louis Svehla. Officials have said other charges are pending an investigation.
Six juveniles also were charged in the fight and released to their parents. They'll later face a tribunal as will the older students arrested.
Josey Principal Ronald Wiggins said another five to six students who were watching the fight and helping escalate matters will be suspended and possibly face a tribunal. The one student injured was punched in the face and was treated at the school.
Dr. Wiggins said the fight occurred based on an argument among two groups of students over a previous incident in which someone put chalk on a female student's clothes. He said it stemmed from outside the school setting, noting that overall for the school year today's incident was the only fight involving several students.
He said the fight shouldn't cast a bad light on Josey, adding that in the past two years discipline cases there 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, adding "...this is an isolated incident."