Five arrested at SCHS

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By Nathan L. McBroom

Five Shelby County High School students were taken into custody Wednesday morning following an altercation between two students that resulted in an assault on a Shelby County sheriff's deputy.

Deputies arrested four juveniles - three female, one male - and one adult male.

The altercation was sparked by a verbal spat between two female students during breakfast in the school's cafeteria.

Shelby County Sheriff Mike Armstrong said a crowd formed around the girls as they shouted profanities at each other.

Gina Johnson, SCHS's resource officer, and school staff immediately rushed in to address the situation.

Armstrong said as Johnson tried to break up the girls, a male student grabbed her and "started pushing and shoving on her."

At that point, Johnson put the student in handcuffs.

Johnson was assisted by other deputies to break up the scene.

Charges include third degree assault, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.

Three of the juveniles have been released to their parents. One juvenile was taken to a youth detention center in Hardin County.

Hardin County jailers would not confirm the current status of the student.

The adult student, Derek Richmond, was taken to the Shelby County Detention Center. Richmond, 18, has since been released on his own recognizance.

Deputies are also investigating the possible abuse of a teacher during the exchange, Armstrong said.

Armstrong said the school's staff "was very much on top of this thing."

He said what initially caused the argument is not known.

In a press release, Interim Principal Michael Rowe said, "an investigation into the incident could result in disciplinary actions against other students."

A statement from Rowe was made to students and was sent to parents and guardians through a telephone communication system. A letter about the incident was also sent home with students that afternoon.