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Jailed teen's mom: Other student made threats, used racial slurs prior to classroom incident
Joshua Jackson
Joshua Jackson

Before Joshua Lionel Jackson reportedly slammed another student and knocked him unconscious at Johnson High School, that student called Jackson the n-word and threatened to shoot him, according to Jackson’s mother. 

“He said, ‘Momma, I tried to walk away. He kept coming behind me, kept calling me racial slurs.’ And he said, ‘I got mad when he threatened to shoot me,’” Jackson’s mother, Shuntay, told The Times. 

“I just want all the facts here,” she said. “I don't want nobody making it seem like he intended to hurt this boy (or) this was pre-planned.” 

Hall County Schools spokesman Stan Lewis declined to provide specifics, but he did confirm “there was a verbal altercation.” 

The incident happened during a class transition around 1:30 p.m. Friday, according to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office. Jackson was charged with felony aggravated battery Monday. 

The 17-year-old Jackson is being charged as an adult, Sheriff’s spokeswoman B.J. Williams said. The other student was 15 years old. 

Authorities say Jackson lifted the student from behind and slammed him into the classroom’s concrete floor.

Video obtained by The Times appears to show Jackson standing behind a door when the student enters the classroom and coming up behind him.

After the student’s head hit the floor, he was unconscious and had a seizure, Williams said.

Williams said Jackson “continued the assault by punching the unconscious teen.” At least six punches are shown on the video. 

“I’m a what?” Jackson can be heard shouting before the video cuts off. 

The student was hospitalized for his injuries, but Williams was unsure of the teen’s status as of Thursday, April 28.

Williams said Jackson was also charged with misdemeanor simple battery for slapping the same teenager about half an hour before the assault.

The school contacted Jackson’s mother Sunday, and Jackson said she met Monday with the principal, assistant principal and school resource officer. 

“He told the principal that the boy just walked up to him ... and he came up to my son and started calling him a (n-word),” she said. 

Lewis said students were returning to the classroom after physical education class, and no school employees were in the room when the assault happened. “It wasn’t until Saturday that it was revealed to school officials that an assault had taken place,” he said. 

Lewis said school officials originally believed it was a medical episode when the child was hospitalized. 

Johnson High Principal Jonathan Edwards declined to comment, deferring to Lewis. 

Jackson said her son has been disciplined for minor things, like wearing a nose ring deemed inappropropriate, cutting up in class and bringing a vape pen to school. 

But he is not a bully, she said, adding that he is “remorseful.” 

“I do know my son, he's not going to say nothing to you unless you say something to him,” she said. “He just don't go and pick a fight with you.” 

Jackson remains at the Hall County Jail without bond for the aggravated battery charge.

Jackson has been appointed a public defender. 

Reporter Nick Watson contributed to this report.