RICEVILLE, TN. (WRCB) - The McMinn County Sheriff's Office is investigating a school bus fight. Deputies were called when a teenager jabbed another student in the head with a pencil.
The fight happened between two eighth graders on the bus ride home from school Monday in Riceville. There were students from elementary through high school on board.
School officials say the bus had just left Riceville Elementary School, when two 14-year-old boys started arguing.
"Some boys were picking at each other on the bus and one became more upset than the other, and when he finally decided to fight back, he just happened to have a pencil in his hand," McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy says.
Sheriff Guy says one hit the other with an empty tea bottle, and the other fought back by jabbing him in the head with that pencil.
The students' injuries are minor, but it made for a scary moment for students onboard and deputies, who've been on edge lately when it comes to violence involving students.
"Raises to high alert anymore, anything dealing with our schools," Sheriff Guy says.
This comes at a time when school officials were already re-evaluating safety measures in the classroom and on buses.
"We're looking at all our situations, because the safety of our students is our number one priority," Director of McMinn County Schools Mickey Blevins says.
They're also looking into whether or not this was a case of bullying.
"We always want to go back and see was this an issue going on for a week? More so? If this has been an ongoing situation, why have we not heard about it," Blevins says.
Both boys' parents were interviewed Tuesday as well as student witnesses.
Officials say it seems to be an isolated incident. The sheriff's office is handing the case over to the district attorney's office to determine if criminal charges will be filed.
"You hate to mess a kid up over making a stupid mistake, but we do have to follow through with it," Sheriff Guy says.
Channel 3 learned the fight started on the bus, and continued off the bus as well. The bus driver is not the one who called 911, they think it was either a student with a cell phone or a passerby.
Possible punishments for the students at school will be determined after school officials complete their investigation.