One student chokes another off-campus, can school help?

6:21 PM, May 24, 2012   |    comments
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DECATUR, Ga. -- A 7th grader admitted to choking a classmate who had to be taken to the hospital afterward, but now he's back in class with that very student. Why? Because the assault apparently took place off campus on a Friday night.

The Decatur police report removed the names of those involved because they are underage. The report says the assault took place on the other side of town from the school in the Decatur public square. 

Witnesses said one 7th grader came up behind another and choked him until he fell to the ground. The student was then arrested after the victim was found lying on the ground crying. The boy told police he choked his classmate to break up a fight. Other witnesses said the student was angry at the boy he choked because he'd broken a third classmate's glasses a week before.

Now several parents of students enrolled at Renfroe Middle School in Decatur said they want the student removed from classes. They say he's a bully and a threat to others. But the school system says they can only intervene if the off-campus action results in a felony charge.

"We strive to maintain the safety of our students on campus and at school events," said an emailed statement from school spokesperson Heather Borowski. "Renfroe Middle School administrators and staff have been and will continue to vigilantly monitor students to prevent disruptions or problems. Renfroe administrators and counselors are working with the families in question and cannot discuss the details of their conversations or actions."

The statement also said parents should watch their students carefully on the square when school hours are over.

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