- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - The Hattiesburg Police Department will now notify the local school district when a juvenile has been arrested and charged as an adult.

The Hattiesburg American reports (https://hatne.ws/1pcRPKE ) the new policy comes after the school district wasn’t told a 14-year-old ninth-grader had been charged as an adult for sexual battery of a child under the age of 14. The district learned of the arrest from another student’s parent.

The ninth-grader was arrested in April. The parent complained in August.

“The new policy that has been put into place with the Hattiesburg Police Department is that, if a juvenile is arrested for a crime and they are charged as an adult, we will contact Hattiesburg Public School District’s (school) resource officers and advise them of that arrest,” police department spokesman Lt. Jon Traxler said Tuesday.

School Superintendent James Bacchus said once the district knew about the student, it acted immediately.

“Once we found out, we took the appropriate action,” he said. “It wasn’t lack of action. It was lack of information.”

School district spokesman Jas N Smith would not say what action the district took because the matter is related to student discipline.

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Information from: The Hattiesburg American, https://www.hattiesburgamerican.com

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