Ex-principal charged with assault after rekindling 10-year-old grudge

Published 10:29 pm Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Editor’s note: Steven Havens was never indicted and the charges referred to in this story were later dropped.

A contentious school conference between a student, her parents and a school principal has finally come to a head, 10 years after the meeting.

Former Lee County Middle School principal Steven Havens, 52, was charged with attempted aggravated assault, after he called a man on Wednesday to say he was coming over to “whip the man’s posterior,” the Daily Journal reported.

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The victim told the paper that he hadn’t spoken to Havens in at least 10 years.

When Havens arrived to the victim’s home, the man said he told Havens to leave but instead Havens threw a punch and the two men started fighting. The victim pressed charges against Havens Thursday.

Havens, who surrendered to authorities Friday, was the Guntown Middle School principal from 2007 until 2016 and retired from the school district in December 2019.

The two men had exchanged words in February 2010 after a conference about the victim’s stepdaughter, according to a lawsuit filed by the victim in July 2011.

The suit said Havens called the victim’s stepdaughter to his office to ask whether she posted a message on Facebook encouraging her classmates to violate the school’s dress code to make him mad.

When the student admitted she had, Havens told her she would be held responsible for the other students if they listened to her, the lawsuit said.

A conference with Havens, the student, her mom and step-dad ended when the man called Havens a coward, the suit said.

Havens called the police, demanding the victim be arrested for disturbing the peace, the lawsuit said.

Charges brought against the man were dismissed in March 2011, court documents said.

The man filed a lawsuit and it was dismissed with prejudice in February 2013.

The man and school district settled.
Havens was released on a $25,000 property bond.

It was not immediately clear if he has an attorney.