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Student attempts to stab teacher in stomach

COVINGTON - A 16-year-old student at Mainstay Academy, formerly known as Crossroads Psychoeducational Center, was charged with simple assault earlier this week after he nearly stabbed a teacher in the stomach.

At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Covington police officers responded to the school on Sharp Field Drive after receiving a call about a student who had attempted to stab a teacher, according to an incident report completed by Officer Eric Almond.

The victim told Almond the student arrived late to class after being at an appointment and that he appeared "nervous" and "upset."

When the teacher asked the teen to obtain a note from the office stating the reason for his late arrival, he allegedly refused, at which point she told the boy he needed to go to Project Decision. According to Det. Daniel Seals, spokesman for the Covington Police Department, Project Decision is a place that houses juvenile offenders and serves as a sort of last resort for teens who, should they break the law again, could be sent to a detention center.

After refusing to get the note, the suspect yelled at the victim and another teacher. He was then asked to leave again and he stood up, at which time a knife, appearing to have about a 4-inch blade, fell out of his pocket and onto the floor.

The victim then attempted to restrain the teen to keep him from getting the knife, but he was able to grab the weapon despite her efforts and he attempted to stab her in the stomach, according to the incident report.

The teacher was able to avoid injury, however, as she pushed him away to protect herself, Almond said.

The suspect left the school on foot and was later located by officers and taken into custody.

"The safety of our students and employees is of the utmost importance to us. We will not tolerate this behavior on our school campuses," said Sherri Viniard, spokeswoman for the Newton County School System. "A juvenile complaint was filed, and it is our understanding that he has been released to his mother. The student has been suspended pending a hearing."

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