Principal hit during fight
Weapons found at schools

COVINGTON - A 15-year-old student from Sharp Learning Center was arrested at Veterans Memorial Middle School on Monday after he struck the school's principal, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

NCSO spokesman Lt. Mark Mitchell said the student had apparently been suspended from Sharp, but boarded a bus late in the afternoon that was on the way to Veterans to take students home.

"He wasn't supposed to be on the bus in the first place," Mitchell said.

Upon the student's arrival at the middle school, which was in the midst of dismissal, Mitchell said he began a verbal altercation with some students that looked as though it was turning into a physical altercation.

When Principal Eric Arena intervened in the conflict, he was struck in the face, Mitchell said.

The student was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, affray, disruption of the operation of a public school, criminal trespass and battery on a school administrator.

Mitchell said no charges were brought against any other students.

Newton County Schools' Director of Pubic Relations Sherri Viniard said the student would have a tribunal hearing.

"Fortunately, Mr. Arena was not injured," she said.

In other school news:

· A school resource officer at Alcovy High School was notified Tuesday that a student had made threatening statements to a male teacher.

Mitchell said while out on the practice field, the teacher had had to discipline the 16-year-old, who retorted with the threat.

He was arrested and charged with making terroristic threats.

· An administrator at Newton High School was given a tip Wednesday that a 16-year-old student was involved in a theft. Mitchell said when the administrator searched the student's vehicle, a box cutter was discovered.

The student was subsequently charged with carrying a weapon on school property. No theft charge was made against the student.

· A resource officer at Eastside High School received a tip Tuesday that a student was carrying a rifle in his vehicle, Mitchell said.

When the student's truck was searched, no rifle was found; however, what Mitchell described as a "machete-like" knife was found in the truck.

Nathaniel Lee Morrow, 17, of Covington was arrested and charged with carrying weapons on school property.

· An Alcovy High School resource officer was tipped off Thursday that a student possibly had a gun in his car.

"An administrator got the student out of class and a search of his vehicle produced a black and silver firearm," Mitchell said, adding that it turned out to be a BB gun, but under the law it still constitutes a weapon because it has a spring-action.

The 16-year-old student was arrested and charged with carrying weapons on school property.

· The principal of Sharp Learning Center saw a student with a pocket knife, showing it to other students at the school, Mitchell said.

The principal alerted the school resource officer who located the student and searched him. The knife was discovered in the 13-year-old's pocket.

He was taken into custody and charged with disruption of a public school and carrying weapons on school property.

Staff Reporter Michelle Floyd contributed to this story.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.