In schools across the nation, fights among students is a common occurrence. Here in Georgia, it is no different. But while we might see fighting in schools as just another part of the societal norm, it’s important for students as well as their parents to know that physical and verbal altercations in school can have serious consequences.
On top of the threat of suspension or expulsion by school administrators, students who choose to fight in school can also face criminal charges as well. That’s because physical altercations may qualify as either a misdemeanor or a felony, in some cases. Even verbal threats can qualify as assault, which is punishable under Georgia law.
To understand the severe situation your child could face if they choose to fight in school, we need to look at Georgia law. Under the Georgia criminal code, fighting can constitute as one of two crimes: assault or battery. Though both involve the possibility of inflicting injury on another person, battery indicates that the attacker had intent to injure.
In order to determine the penalties for committing a crime, assault and battery charges are broken down further: simple or aggravated. Both simple assault and simple battery are misdemeanor charges with the chance of up to a year in jail and the possibility of being assessed a $1,000 fine. For aggravated charges, the crime becomes a felony, resulting in up to 20 years in prison for assault and possibly more for battery. The accused may also face fines and may be forced to pay restitution to the victim as well.
When you consider the criminal implications of fighting in school, you realize how important it is to educate our children about the real life consequences of their actions. If we fail to do this as parents, we force our children to learn these lessons the hard way, which can have long-lasting negative repercussions.