COVINGTON - Two Indian Creek Middle School students were taken into custody by Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies Tuesday morning following an altercation on a school bus. One of the students was armed with a knife when deputies arrived, NCSO spokesman Lt. Mark Mitchell said.
"They were both seated on the bus. What caused the altercation, I do not know. Witness statements said punches were thrown," Mitchell said. "At the end of the altercation, one of the females produced a knife."
Mitchell said a call came in about 7:45 a.m. regarding a fight on a school bus that was on the Covington Bypass near Eastside High School. Mitchell said as the deputy boarded the bus, he saw that one of the girls had a knife in her hand.
The deputy ordered her to drop it and she did, Mitchell said. However, she had cut the seat in front of her with the knife.
"No one was injured during the incident," said Sherri Viniard, public relations director for the Newton County School System. "Fighting on a school bus is a very serious offense because it not only jeopardizes the safety of the passengers on board but also other drivers in the area. At the beginning of each school year, students are given a copy of the policy regarding fighting on a school bus and they are informed that those rules will be strictly enforced. There is no excuse for having a weapon of any kind on school property and students are informed up front that possession of a weapon results in an automatic referral to law enforcement."
Juvenile complaints were taken out against both of the girls, whose names are being withheld due to their ages.
Viniard said both students have been suspended from school pending a formal hearing.
The girl with the knife is 13 and was charged with affray, criminal trespass and possession of a weapon on school property, Mitchell said, adding that the school bus was considered an extension of school property.
The second girl involved in the incident is 14 and she was charged with affray and felony obstruction of a law enforcement officer. Mitchell said when the deputy attempted to take her into custody, she fought him and resisted arrest.
Mitchell said the girls were charged and handed over to juvenile authorities.
Barbara Knowles can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.