Juvenile judge warns pupils against bad actions

Thursday, March 1, 2012 12:40 PM
Last updated 12:47 PM
  • Follow Crime & courts

The day after he expelled two Lakeside Middle students, Columbia County Juvenile Court Judge Doug Flanagan spoke to Evans Middle School pupils about the possible criminal consequences of their actions.

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Juvenile Court Judge Douglas Flanagan talks to eighth-graders at Evans Middle School.  Jim Blaylock/ Columbia County News Times
Jim Blaylock/ Columbia County News Times
Juvenile Court Judge Douglas Flanagan talks to eighth-graders at Evans Middle School.

“I put people in jail every week,” Flanagan told eighth-graders in the school gym Thursday. “I’m not mean, but I have to do my job.”

Though the five Lakeside Middle pupils calling themselves the Charlie Rape Gang thus far have avoided a trip to the Regional Youth Detention Center for their assaults on classmates, including knocking some down and simulating sex acts, many others are not so lucky.

“A lot of people think when you go to YDC you don’t have to go to school, but you do,” Flanagan said. “And the cafeteria food is even worse than in school.”

On Wednesday, Flanagan expelled two 13-year-old members of the “rape gang” and sent the remaining three, one 13-year-old and two 12-year-olds, back to the school. However, all the boys still must face a school system hearing officer, who has the authority to expel them.

Each boy is charged with simple battery.

Flanagan explained to the Evans Middle pupils that simple battery constitutes unwanted touching, like shoving. Had the boys touched their classmates “private parts,” then they likely would have faced sexual battery charges.

“‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I didn’t mean to do it’ is fine in elementary school,” but not in middle and high schools, Flanagan said.

Thursday’s speech is one of many Flanagan regularly delivers to middle school pupils in the area. He hopes to give more such talks in coming months to convince pupils to avoid actions that might land them in his courtroom.

“Your only job here is to get good grades and keep out of trouble,” he said.

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kiwiinamerica 03/01/12 - 01:46 pm
So he's a "juvenile judge",

So he's a "juvenile judge", eh?

Hmmm............in the photo he looks to be a middle aged man.

mrducks 03/01/12 - 02:33 pm
LOL! If those kids know how

LOL! If those kids know how easy the LMS kids got off, they aren't scared. This seems to be a lame PR move for a lenient judge.

David Parker
David Parker 03/01/12 - 03:26 pm
“Your only job here is to get

“Your only job here is to get good grades and keep out of trouble,”

Good message but I'd add that the students should expand their social skills from early on so that communication in later years is not a limitation.

nevertoolate 03/01/12 - 03:56 pm
As I have posted here

As I have posted here before~Judge Flanagan rocks!

BamaMan 03/01/12 - 04:09 pm
Alright, Judge Flanagan!

Alright, Judge Flanagan! Sounds as though he made sure they understood what he was saying. I hope they take it to heart. It is not cool to be a criminal.

dstewartsr 03/01/12 - 08:25 pm
Yeah, he let the little gay

Yeah, he let the little gay gangsters go back to school. That really showed the strong arm of the law. Then Judge Janus locked up a girl for doing the SAME thing. Oh, no, it wasn't: she didn't violently wrestle them to the ground in a group assault, or threaten them if they reported it.

My bad.

DoggieMom 03/01/12 - 09:52 pm
It's sad to see our youth

It's sad to see our youth acting so badly.
Where are the parents?
We were called "mean", "strict", "overprotective",
plus many other not so nice names.
If we caught our kids cheating, lying, bullying, etc,
they were grounded, until they brought their grades up
To all "A's", & "B's"& all friends they got into trouble with
were no longer someone allowed in our circle of friends!
Fast forward 12+ years, and our kids stayed in school in HOPE or
paid themselves. All 4 grown kids have finished college, 2 have
Finished grad school, and no one is living at home, playing
Video games on the couch all day! We're friends with our kids,
and have transitioned into adult friendships with all.
Parents, wake up! Being their "best friend" when they're still a child
is leaving an adult out of the relationship! Be the parent!!
Sure, you won't be the most popular parent, but you're being the most caring when you set limits, and stick to those boundaries.
Model mature, consistent, loving, but forgiving character will help you raise thoughtful, loving, mature adults. Just giving in is harmful to your child, and our next generation.

KSL 03/01/12 - 10:03 pm
Very well stated, DoggieMom.

Very well stated, DoggieMom. I think I'm one generation older than you. That is the way I was reared and the way we reared our children. That rearing has paid off as well as the rearing of my husband and myself.

KSL 03/01/12 - 10:04 pm
The best friends in our life

The best friends in our life are our adult children. And that has been the case since they were in college.

avidreader 03/02/12 - 06:46 am
Both of my boys did some

Both of my boys did some stupid things when growing up. They got in trouble at school, and yes, mom and dad also added on to the punishment. However, I am happy to say that their behavior never involved matters of indecency, and they were never disrespectful to teachers or other students. Childish pranks are one thing; sexual harrassment and bullying are another.

It's nice to know that Judge Flanigan is involved with his community as a whole.

seenitB4 03/02/12 - 06:55 am
Say what you please but what

Say what you please but what worked in the past would work today......I knew I would get a whupping if I misbehaved in school...no doubt about it...
In todays world the kids rule the roost.....excuses are made...the child can't help it..blah-blah-blah....anytime a child strikes...punches...kicks another they can help it...esp, when they do this to an adult like the teacher.......I think the Judge was fair & is trying to give them a chance...but he is right about grammar school.....let small kids grow up B4 we slap them in jail/or fine them.....geez

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