• 7 arrests at Clayton County schools within a week

    By: Tom Jones


    CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - There have been seven arrests at Clayton County schools in the last seven days, and the suspects are accused of causing chaos.

    Channel 2's Tom Jones was in court when most of them went before a judge Thursday.

    "You're charged with disrupting a public school," Clayton County Magistrate Court Judge Stephen Knights told one defendant.

    Deputies said they arrested Precious Woods after she spit on a student and threw a trash can at her at North Clayton High School. Trinell Kennedy was arrested, deputies said, after she became unruly and used profanity during the same incident.

    "As of right now, I'm unemployed. I just came off of medical leave," Kathy Cunningham told the judge after hearing her charge of disruption with the operation of a public school.

    Deputies said she went to Rex Middle School without signing in and confronted a teacher in a boisterous manner, saying her people would come back after him.

    "It's always a problem when we have a disruption at any of our schools," Clayton County Schools spokesman David Waller said.

    Waller said the district hasn't noticed an increase in the number of arrests on disruption charges. He said they just seem to come in batches. Waller said the disruptions pose a danger and interfere with learning, "if a school has to go in a lockdown, whether it's a soft lockdown or a hard lockdown, if the students witness that kind of thing," he said.

    Back in court, more defendants went before the judge. Deputies said Deonte Burgess and Donta Thomas boarded a school bus to Drew High School, but they aren't students and had to be removed.

    Deputies said they also arrested Everit Rios after he used profanity in front of two students at Mundy's Mill Middle School. Rios wasn't happy when the judge told him he couldn't go back to the school.

    "I'm the only one who drives and my kids, they go to that school and if they get hurt like last time, that's why I got mad," Rios said.

    The judge sternly reminded him he could be arrested if he goes back.

    The school district said it has student courts, peer mediation and counseling for students who get out of control. Officials hope parents know they're setting a bad example.

    "We have to get through to people who come in our schools (that) you can't behave that way," Waller said.

    The school district said it probably has the same number of arrests for disrupting a school as any other district the same size.

    Disrupting a school can be costly. The people arrested received either $5,000 or $10,000 bonds.


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