Bluffton Middle student assaults teacher

A 12-year-old student at Bluffton Middle School struck his teacher in the classroom during first period Thursday, sending her to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

The teacher, Malisa Hart, had minor injuries to her head as a result of the attack and received precautionary treatment at Hilton Head Hospital, according to the Bluffton Police Department.

The boy was taken into custody by a school resource officer, suspended from school and released to his parents, the department said in a news release.

An expulsionary hearing is next.

The student was also assigned to Family Court for assault and battery, and disturbing schools, the release said.

According to the Beaufort County School District's student code of conduct, assaulting a school staff member is among the most serious offenses. Punishment requires immediate suspension from school, calling law enforcement and filing charges. The school also will recommend expulsion and seek restitution when appropriate, according to the policy.

School district spokesman Jim Foster called the incident a "very serious situation."

"Our number-one priority is the safety of students and educators in our buildings," he said.

Foster and Bluffton police Lt. Joe Babkiewciz declined to provide further details about what led to the attack.

Hart is an English as a Second Language teacher, according to the Bluffton Middle School website.

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