Police arrested a 17-year-old Monday after reviewing school bus video, charging him with battery.
The male teen reportedly attacked a 16-year-old female while on the school bus at Statesboro High School Friday.
Around 3:30 p.m. Friday, “School resource officers assigned to Statesboro High School were notified of an altercation which had occurred that afternoon on a school bus,” said Statesboro Police Capt. Jared Akins.
“The incident … resulted in visible injuries to the female juvenile’s right eye.”
The victim’s mother, Kanisha Edenfield, posted photos of her daughter’s facial injuries on social media. “She was injured on her forehead, eye, and nose,” she said. The photos showed a cut underneath the girl’s eye.
Since the incident took place after school hours Friday, the investigating officers were forced to wait until Monday to “obtain surveillance footage from the bus and to conduct follow up interviews to determine who the primary aggressor in the incident was,” he said.
The surveillance video showed Jiru Jevon Johnson, 17, of East Main Street, “was the primary aggressor and that he had committed an act of misdemeanor battery” against the juvenile victim, Akins said.
Edenfield said her daughter had never before met Johnson. She said her daughter was seated on the bus as Johnson boarded, and as he sought a seat, his “book bag kept hitting” her daughter.
With the book bag “in her face,” the victim pushed it away, and that was when Johnson began striking her, she said.
Bulloch County Schools communications and marketing director Hayley Greene said the school resource officers, certified policemen with the Statesboro Police Department, were informed immediately of the incident after it happened. However, she could not give information on any possible school disciplinary action, citing laws that protect the students’ privacy.
“Bulloch County Schools (and school officials) are unable to comment on student disciplinary issues due to student privacy, which is protected by federal law under the Federal Education Rights & Privacy Act (FERP.” She said. “The school system and or schools are also unable to comment about on-going investigations by law enforcement.”
The school administrators share information with custodial parents of students involved in such incidents, and “immediately contact law enforcement for any possible violations of our code of conduct that require mandatory notification to law enforcement,” she said.
The Bulloch County Schools Student Handbook, issued to all parents and students, is accessible on the school district website, includes the “Student Code of Conduct, which explains the student disciplinary process, and denotes what offenses require a mandatory report to law enforcement.”
After school action, school resource officers took Johnson to the Bulloch County Jail on charges of battery, Akins said.
Edenfield said she has consulted with Jeff Klare, a leader of a local anti-bullying effort, and that she expects to take the matter further.
“My daughter has been having headaches, suffers from (post-traumatic stress syndrome) and doesn’t want to go back to public schools,” she told the Statesboro Herald.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at 912-489-9414.