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Teacher, student arrested

ALBANY -- A teacher and a student at South Georgia Regional Achievement Center were arrested Wednesday afternoon.

Dougherty County School System Public Information Director R.D. Harter said DCSS Police were called to the school system's alternative school about an altercation between a student and a teacher. When the police arrived, they heard the complaint and arrested the student.

Harter said the teacher then further provoked the student and hit the student after the student had been arrested. DCSS police then arrested the teacher, Harter added.

"That behavior is not accepted in the school system," Harter said. "The teacher will be dealt with by the criminal court system and administratively in the school system. Right now, he hasn't posted bond and is still in jail. After he passes his legal recourse, he'll have to meet with the system administrators to determine his eligibility to return to the classroom."

Dougherty County Jail officials confirmed Thursday that Antonio Richardson had bonded out of jail on a $3500 bond. He has been charged with obstruction of police, disorderly conduct, and misdemeanor battery.

An official at the DCSS Police Department said Chief Troy Conley was in the process of filling out a report on the incident. According to policy, officers have up to 48 hours to complete an incident report, which means the one concerning Thursday's altercations may not be released until Monday.

Since the report has not been released by the DCSS Police Department, it is unclear what program the student and teacher arrested were involved in. Achievement Center Principal John I. Davis said there are two school resource officers on the center's campus at all times. He said most of the high schools have two SROs.

"This is just an isolated incident where a teacher and a student both overreacted," Davis said. "We receive students that have been ejected from the 26 schools, (students) that have presented challenges and concerns, and this is the first incident of this nature that we've had on this campus."

The Achievement Center houses seven programs. Four of the programs are punitive and three non-punitive.

The Phoenix School of Achievement, Student Transition And Recovery (STAR), Turn-A-Round and Community Service are the punitive programs at the center. Students who have committed infractions against school rules at their zoned school are summoned there by a student disciplinary tribunal. Students are placed in the school for one or two semesters, or the reminder of their middle school or high school career, depending on the severity of their infraction against the school rules, Davis said.

Partners in Alternative Learning for Students (PALS), the Performance Learning Center (PLC) and Elementary Alternative Education Program (EAEP) are the non-punitive programs at the center. The non-punitive programs are geared for students two years behind chronologically and two years academically. Students have to fill out applications for the non-punitive programs.

The South Georgia Regional Achievement Center is one of the few alternative schools in the state to house students from elementary to 12th grade.