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Can a school fight lead to criminal charges in Tennessee?

As a parent, you worry tremendously about the welfare of your children. You do your best to raise them right and keep them safe. The increasing violence and bullying at schools and on social media make things even more challenging than they already are.

Despite your best efforts, you may receive a phone call from the school informing you that your child has gotten into a fight. In addition to school discipline, your child may also face legal action if the school notified the police or the parents of the other child decide to press charges. You may wonder how a fight at school can result in criminal charges. Unfortunately, this scenario is becoming more common, reports Public School Review.

Possible criminal charges

Whether or not your child will receive charges and what type depend on the details of the encounter. The behaviors your child exhibited and the injuries the other student sustained will determine which of the following charges may apply:

  • Disorderly conduct entails getting into a fight or using threatening or violent behavior. It can also include an intense verbal altercation. Disorderly conduct is a class C misdemeanor.
  • Simple assault means causing physical injury recklessly, knowingly or intentionally; causing someone to fear imminent danger; or contacting another person in an extremely provocative or offensive way. Assault can be a class A or B misdemeanor.
  • Aggravated assault occurs when there is serious bodily harm, attempted strangulation, use or display of a deadly weapon or hurting a police officer, among other severe qualifications. Depending on the action, the charges may fall under a class A misdemeanor, class C felony or class D felony. 

Possible consequences

Convictions lead to jail time, fines, probation and a criminal record. However, the court desires rehabilitation for juveniles, rather than punishment. Additional penalties may include community service and completion of programs to help your child stay out of trouble in the future. 

 

 

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