4 Lakeside High baseball players expelled after drinking on bus

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Four Lakeside High School baseball players were expelled this week for drinking alcohol on a school bus.

The players met with the Columbia County school system hearing officer Tuesday and were given long-term suspensions with the option to the attend the alternative school in Grovetown for the remainder of this school year and the first semester of next school year, schools Superintendent Charles Nagle said Wednesday in an e-mail.

The players were drinking on the bus on their way home from a late game March 9 against South Effingham.

“As the students were exiting the bus and leaving at 1:30 in the morning (March 10), (coaches) discovered that someone had gotten sick,” Lakeside High Principal Steven Rhodes said last week. “The next day, after some kids came forward, they realized that alcohol was involved.”

The following week, school officials suspended the players and called the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

Following an investigation, authorities arrested Courtney Devin McIlwain, 23, of Martinez, on March 15 for furnishing the alcohol to a minor, who then gave it to the players.

The players and the 16-year-old Martinez boy who gave them the alcohol each were charged with possession of alcohol by a minor.

Since this incident, the Lakeside team has lost three of four games.

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Riverman1
103053
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Riverman1 03/22/12 - 03:53 am
0
2
Shake it off, go to the

Shake it off, go to the alternative school and come back next year playing harder than ever. Practice together while you can't play school ball. Get on some kind of summer team.

Martinez
154
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Martinez 03/22/12 - 05:17 am
2
1
Hard but valuable life

Hard but valuable life lesson. Attending school and participating in a sports program is a privilege. While I believe the punishment here may be harsher then if it happened at a lesser school or program .... "For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required." I second Riverman1's advice, shake this off. Accept your punishment, do your best and come back next year stronger then ever. If you happen to be a senior (no next year for high school), go forward in the world having learned this hard lesson young. This situation does not define you.

Frankie-B
48
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Frankie-B 03/22/12 - 06:34 am
2
2
Shake it off? How about

Shake it off? How about "you're kids, you're breaking the law and being irresponsible? I'm curious as to whether these kids were about to drive home drunk. If they would've plowed into one of your kids I guess I'd tell you to shake it off... I'm pleased with the coach and the follow-up.

sassylassie
523
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sassylassie 03/22/12 - 07:21 am
3
1
Amen, Frankie-B. Some of the

Amen, Frankie-B. Some of the above opinions are so typical of Columbia County parents. "Shake it off, son. You were just breaking the law. No big deal!". Keep on. That's why some of the kids in this community think they are so untouchable. Unbelievable. It's time parents were forced to take responsibility for their child's actions and I agree, the punishment is very fair. Perhaps it will make some others think twice before copying this behavior. Thank God somebody found out before they drove themselves or their friends home and someone got killed. Let's be real. This is nothing to "shake off."

Little Lamb
51651
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Little Lamb 03/22/12 - 08:17 am
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1
Scheduling games that get the

Scheduling games that get the team back home at 1:30 a.m. does not help the situation. Of course, we are talking baseball, and the game is not over until the last man is out. But if this was a nine-inning game with no rain delays, then they should have scheduled it earlier (let the team out of school early for travel if necessary).

DawgnSC69
327
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DawgnSC69 03/22/12 - 08:19 am
2
0
I think the intent of "Shake

I think the intent of "Shake it off" from these posts was for the players to learn from their mistake and become a better person from the lesson they learned and not let it drag them down.

Yes it was bad but what was done, is done. Fortunately we can say now that the events could've been a LOT worst. Now let's turn something positive out of the whole situation and move on.

I'm sure everyone here has made mistakes in their life. I surely did but I learned from it and became a better person because of it.

Frankie-B
48
Points
Frankie-B 03/22/12 - 08:31 am
1
1
Im not tracking on the timing

Im not tracking on the timing of the affecting the causation of the drinking. In addition to the punishment I'd make these kids and their parents wash & clean school buses every weekend for a year.

rmwhitley
5547
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rmwhitley 03/22/12 - 12:42 pm
0
0
Thank God those MORONS
Unpublished

Thank God those MORONS weren't driving the bus.

Riverman1
103053
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Riverman1 03/22/12 - 12:58 pm
4
1
When a kid makes an ERROR

When a kid makes an ERROR playing baseball, it's common to tell him to "shake it off." He knows he made the mistake, so he needs to get his head up and do something good. The E goes in the record book. I hope all those kids hit homeruns in whatever they do in the future. Now don't make me explain the infield fly rule to you folks who don't know baseball.

wise ole man
98
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wise ole man 03/22/12 - 02:40 pm
0
0
Not sure how the team

Not sure how the team schedule affected whether these boys drank or not. It was a weekend and I assure you most of these boys aren't usually home before midnight. Thank goodness they were on a bus because if they didn't have this game & ride home no telling what would or could have happened. A lesson has been learned by these boys but unfortunately their friends will still drink and probably drive because they weren't the ones caught.

805
Points
Barry Paschal 03/22/12 - 05:38 pm
0
0
FYI, Little Lamb: The game

FYI, Little Lamb: The game was in Effingham County and was played
after a two-hour rain delay.

Little Lamb
51651
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Little Lamb 03/22/12 - 08:29 pm
0
0
Thank you, Barry. I knew the

Thank you, Barry. I knew the game was played in Effingham County (in fact the newspaper article mentioned that the team was South Effingham), but I did not know about the rain delay.

Poor Evans High (and probably others in Columbia County). Because of the large size of the schools, they have to travel far away for the games. Perhaps the coaches could consider setting up a system whereby when a team has to travel far away for a game (football or baseball), the game will be played immediately after school lets out at the home team. That would save costs in several ways (the home-team students and teachers who go to the game would not have to bother going home and coming back and the visiting team would get back home at a decent hour).

Evans High's schedule is better today than it was a few years ago. They used to have to travel west of Atlanta and down to Cordele and places like that. Maybe the creation of the new Class will allow for closer-in travel.

Willow Bailey
20606
Points
Willow Bailey 03/22/12 - 10:17 pm
0
0
We have some drama queens on

We have some drama queens on board...shake it off!

T.More
229
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T.More 03/22/12 - 11:59 pm
0
0
Who is not for punishment,

Who is not for punishment, but the punishment should fit the infraction. Underage drinking for high school students is not desirable and there should be punishment, but "he that is without sin" in the Columbia Co. System should "cast a stone." I am sure most of those making comments on this board and most of those making this decision never had even one sip until they turned 21. Right?

The students although they made a mistake came forward when confronted and told the truth. Should there be consequences, like a three game suspension and week out of school? Yes. To be expelled from school and derail a kid's season completely is not right. I would imagine a strong penalty that sends a message would be in order, but it should not potentially lead to a kid deciding to drop out and not return to school at all. Kids go and commit felonies and are given slaps on the wrist in the juvenile system and allowed right back into school a semester or a few weeks later. A kid gets his hand on some liquor and shares it with a few buddies, they admit to it without a major investigation and they all get kicked out of school and have an extracurricular activity that keeps them academically on track stripped from him. What message does that send for those who tell the truth and accept responsibility for their actions? This decision makes no sense. If it had been a second infraction it would be more understandable.

Most people who drink (including underage teenagers) do not get behind the wheel. Put your AA propaganda pamphlets away. But thanks for logically jumping from A to Z without the other 24 letters needed to make the argument. Ridiculous.

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