A Giles County middle school student is facing criminal charges and another facial surgery after a fight over gum.
School officials are not releasing the names of the students because of privacy regulations, but said the fight happened Monday inside a classroom at Richland School in Lynnville, about 70 miles south of Nashville, when one student refused to give the other student some gum.
According to witnesses, there was an exchange of some kind between the two students before one punched the other in the face.
The student’s jaw was broken in two places.
School officials had to call paramedics for the student who was hit because his classmates, teachers and the school nurse could not stop the bleeding.
According to school officials, the eighth grader will have to have surgery Thursday to make repairs to his jaw.
The mother of the student accused of throwing the punch, who did not want to be named to protect her son’s identity, said he should not have been suspended for five days.
“I don’t think it is fair that he is the only child getting suspended because he was actually defending himself,” she said.
Director of Giles County Schools told News 2 the boys were football teammates and the incident was not a case of bullying.
“It all came down to a piece of chewing gum,” Dr. Tim Webb said. “We have administered the appropriate disciplinary procedures for the student who was the aggressor.”
Other students were in the classroom when the fight happened.
Terri Barnhill’s daughter told her about the fight after school on Tuesday.
“She says she was looking and the next thing she knew a student got knocked out and was lying on the floor bleeding everywhere,” she said. “I was dumb founded to hear it and I think she was really in shock to sit there and watch the whole situation.”
As a part of the school’s investigation officials took statements from all the students present.