A South Carolina high school student could be facing 30 days in jail after throwing a paper airplane. Police say a South Carolina high school student accused of throwing a paper airplane that struck a teacher in the eye could end up in jail for up to a month.
According to South Strand News, deputies said a teacher at Andrews High School said he was upset over getting hit with the paper airplane due to recently having had ocular surgery. The police said the teacher, Edward McIver, commented that “something needs to be done” because he and the 17-year-old David Michael Elliott have had previous altercations regarding the student’s behavior.
The incident report states Deputy Paul Glover was contacted by McIver – a science teacher, who said he had been struck in the eye. Deputy Glover noted in his report how McIver’s eye appeared “very red.” McIver reportedly told deputy Glover that he wanted to press criminal charges if Elliott was found to be responsible for throwing the paper airplane.
Glover reported he then met in the school’s conference room with Elliott and a vice principal. It was then that Elliott admitted to having thrown the paper airplane at McIver with the intention of hitting him in the head rather than in the eye. As for why Elliott had thrown the airplane at McIver, Deputy Glover said the student could not provide a “logical reason”.
Elliott was then cited for third-degree assault and battery, a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500. Later that day, he was transported to the Georgetown County Detention Center, where he was later released on a $1,087.50 bond.
According to statute 16-3-600, third degree assault and battery occurs when “the person unlawfully injures another person, or offers or attempts to injure another person with the present ability to do so.”
When asked if she felt Elliott’s arrest was warranted, AHS Principal Michelle Greene said she thought the incident did constitute an assault, but added deputies make the ultimate determination as to whether criminal charges are filed.
“That’s the law enforcement side,” Greene said. “That is a violation of school policy, but if law enforcement … deem it necessary to get a warrant for it, then that’s what happens. The school does not interfere with law enforcement business, and they don’t interfere with ours.”
In a separate interview with Times staff, Georgetown County School District Director of Safety and Risk Management Alan Walters echoed Greene’s response, and added school staff is duty-bound to report perceived crimes.
“If any employee believes a crime has taken place, we report it,” Walters said. “Law enforcement makes a decision if a crime occurred or not and, if it did, whether they choose to file charges or not.”
When asked if he was concerned over a possible public perception of whether Elliott should have been arrested for throwing a paper airplane, Walters declined to comment.
“I’m not going to get into all that,” he said. “We did what we were supposed to do, and from there it was in law enforcement’s hands.”
Elliott’s first court appearance was scheduled for Feb. 14. It was unknown if he was being represented by an attorney.