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Officials: High school 'stabbing' incident was just horseplay
No injuries sustained
Terrence Thomas

A reported stabbing at Statesboro High School Monday was a “horseplay” altercation and did not result in any injury, said Bulloch County Schools Superintendent Charles Wilson.

Statesboro police identified the offender as Terrence Thomas, 17, of Pulaski Highway, who was charged with aggravated assault and possession of a deadly weapon in a school safety zone.

In a press release issued by Statesboro police Chief Mike Broadhead late Tuesday, he said officers responded around 12:15 p.m. Monday to a “potential stabbing incident” reported by school officials. Upon investigation, officers determined Thomas had “stabbed the victim.”

Wilson said, “Dr. Ken LeCain, principal of Statesboro High School, informed (him) that a male student poked another student in the back with the tip of a pocket knife while the other student was urinating in the bathroom.”

The victim reported the incident, and a “school nurse examined the student and determined that the poke by the pocket knife had not caused an open wound, scratch or bleeding,” he said.

Thomas was charged with aggravated assault due to his alleged actions, in spite of no serious wounds being suffered.

However, when asked about the charge, Statesboro police Deputy Chief Rob Bryan referred to Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) 16-5-21, which reads in part, that a person who assaults someone “with a deadly weapon or with any object, device or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury …” may be charged with aggravated assault.

Statesboro police would not release additional details of the incident, since it remains under investigation, he said.

Wilson said Dr. Deborah Mangum, an assistant principal at SHS, obtained written statements from both students.

“The students’ initial statements to the school administrator, did not reveal malicious intent, and revealed that the two boys are close acquaintances,” he said.

However, Wilson said officers interviewed the teens involved afterward and may have additional information that led to the charge.

“Based on the students’ initial statements to school administrators, Dr. Mangum and Dr. LeCain believed the incident to be horseplay. However, since the incident involved a pocket knife, which is considered a weapon, and its possession on a campus is against school policy, the administrators followed protocol and reported the incident to the school’s Statesboro Police Department resource officer."

The “Bulloch County school (system) cooperates fully with law enforcement and does not hinder law enforcement agency investigations or the legal process when incidents occur on school campuses,” he said.

“The safety of our students is top priority, and while we are saddened by the choices made by the student in question, our school system will not tolerate such behavior, misconduct, or any abuse of another student, regardless of the student’s intent.”

According to Bulloch County Jail records, Thomas was released on bond Tuesday and will face further court appearances.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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