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Sisters charged with striking school officials

COVINGTON - Three teenage sisters are facing charges of battery on a school official and disruption of a public school after they reportedly became involved in an altercation with a sheriff's deputy and faculty at Newton High School last month.

Deputy Anthony Washington was patrolling the hallways of the school around 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 24 when the assistant principal asked for his assistance in looking for a student, according to a Newton County Sheriff's Office incident report completed by the deputy.

They later located the 14-year-old girl sitting several rows up on the bleachers inside the gym. When the assistant principal approached the teen and asked her to come with him and the deputy, she refused, prompting the administrator to attempt to grab the girl, Washington said.

The suspect then became "combative," jerking her arms away from both the deputy and the assistant principal.

Washington continued to struggle with girl, but he was eventually able to subdue her on the bleachers, according to the NCSO report. While trying to place her in handcuffs, however, the suspect began to allegedly flail and kick her legs at the deputy and at one point struck him in the lower torso area.

The deputy said the altercation lasted between 10 and 15 minutes. During the time that he was trying to get the teen under control, her two sisters, Victoria Jackson, 17, and a 16-year-old juvenile, also reportedly became involved in the skirmish, striking several faculty members in the process.

The names of the 14-year-old and the 16-year-old are being withheld due to their status as juveniles.

"(The sisters) tried to intervene in the arrest of the 14-year-old, at which time the teachers and officer were struck," said Lt. Mark Mitchell, spokesman for the NCSO.

According to Sherri Viniard, spokeswoman for the Newton County School System, the students will face disciplinary action by the school.

"In addition to the criminal charges filed by the sheriff's office, the school administrators also suspended the students to formal hearings for several rules violations," Viniard said. "This sort of behavior is totally unacceptable in our schools."

Joel Griffin can be reached at joel.griffin@newtoncitizen.com.