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Greenbrier glue vandalism might delay college plans

One student paid for damage

Friday, June 1, 2012 5:52 PM
Last updated Saturday, June 2, 2012 1:53 AM
  • Follow Education

Just one of four Green­brier High students accused of squirting super glue into door locks at the school has paid restitution.

For the other teens, failure to pay their share of the nearly $5,000 cost to replace the locks might hurt their chances of starting college in the fall.

“I’m assuming it will,” Columbia County school Su­per­intendent Charles Nagle said. “That’s why I’m assuming they’re going to pay us.”

County authorities arrested the seniors – Brooklyn Leigh Bella, 17, Elizabeth Sutton Metz, 17, Dynisha Antoinette Clemons, 17, and Kristin Arey Tannehill, 18 – on felony charges of second-degree criminal damage to property after school officials discovered the vandalism May 11. A week later, the sheriff’s office also arrested a 15-year-old boy on the same charge in connection with the incident.

The girls were suspended the final week of school and barred from their graduation ceremony.

School officials also are withholding their diplomas and refuse to release their second-semester grades until they pay for the damage.

Katherine Sweeney, Augusta State University’s director of admissions, said in an e-mail that provisional acceptance letters are sent to applicants based on their student transcripts through the first semester of their senior year, but the entire transcript eventually is needed.

“If the high school indicates that they cannot provide the transcript and indicates that the reason is because there is a pending debt owed to the high school, we would place a hold on the student record that would prevent registration until we receive the required documents,” Sweeney said.

She stressed, though, that other universities’ policies might vary from those at Augusta State.

Greenbrier Principal Chris Segraves said he believes many colleges might still admit the girls because they need the tuition payments.

“I’m sure something can be worked out to not keep them from attending college in the fall,” he said. “We don’t want to keep them from furthering their education.”

Nagle said a parent recently contacted the school system about paying one girl’s share of the damage to free up her grades for college.

According to District Attorney Ashley Wright, her office now has the complete case file on the incident and will be working on a presentation to a grand jury.

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I'm Back Again
307
Points
I'm Back Again 06/01/12 - 11:03 pm
0
0
OMG! They are making a
Unpublished

OMG! They are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Good grief, it was just a prank. Let them pay up and be done with it. But suspended the last 5 days of high school, no graduation ceremony, arrested, jail time, restitution, banned from college. Can someone say overkill?
Im all for punishment, but this is a bit extreme to me. And exactly how many locks did they glue to cause $5000 in damage? Those locks must have been made out of either gold or oil!!!

Frank I
1158
Points
Frank I 06/01/12 - 11:10 pm
4
8
Extortion

So Columbia County School board was succcessful in their extortion through intimidation? While I don't agree that the children should go unpunished, $5000 in damages is a bit extravagant... Considering superglue can be removed with fingernail polish remover, I think it's outrageous.. Perhaps leave it to the children to have to deal with freeing up the locks, but $5000? I think "they’re going to pay us" is the key phrase there.. someone got their feelings hurt/embarrassed..

csraguy
2112
Points
csraguy 06/01/12 - 11:28 pm
9
1
Great Job Columbia County BOE and SO

Thanks to the CCCBOE and the CCSO, the taxpayers will not be paying for the criminal damage these girls did. They knew what they were doing before they did it and knew if they were caught the consequences would not be good at all.

Forty something school locks had to be replaced and that wasn't going to happen with fingernail polish remover. In addition, school staff had to spend time and energy solving these problems. Knowing what these types of locks cost (around 100 each) combined with installation and maintenance issues the day of the incident, $5,000.00 is more than fair. If they have money to pay for college then they can come up with the $1,250.00 to pay for the damages they caused.

JohnBrownAug
1962
Points
JohnBrownAug 06/02/12 - 04:12 am
2
5
A puzzling article quoting

A puzzling article quoting different people with what might be. The incident occurred three weeks ago. It could be the girls and their families are waiting on the court appearance before paying. That would seem like something many would do. It could become complicated and the person could end up paying twice possibly.

The value of the damage hasn’t been determined yet by the court. Can the locks be sold as is? If it’s true about nail polish removing the Super Glue, I’d think maybe. At least give the glued locks to the families so they can try to sell them.

So with that background, why all the statements from various people about what may happen? I thought for a minute you were going to say the minister at some church said they would never pray for someone who had glued locks unless they paid up fast. You even go to ASU and ask them what they would do when, far as we know, none of the girls has applied there.

I assume you believe they should have already paid? I submit there is no attempt to avoid paying, but only a reasonable wait to determine the actual damage and court decision. This article bringing up their college careers as potentially being damaged when there is no way the people quoted actually know creates concern for the families is all when no attempts have been made to avoid paying what they owe far as we know.

By the way, speaking of damaging college careers, how did they do on the exams that were sprung on them without adequate time to study? Did they all pass? That would be an interesting fact for the paper instead of this conjecture.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 06/02/12 - 05:17 am
11
0
FrankI

Extortion? Not extortion. How about consequences?

Behavior has consequences. And bad behavior has adverse consequences. Furthermore, bad behavior often has unanticipated adverse consequences.

If you are a "cool parent" or an enabled youth, you need to GROW UP. If you are neither, you still need to grow up.

KUDOS to Mr. Nagle for having the guts to stand up to these miscreant students and however-many of their parents whose enabling behaviors are self-considered "cool."

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 06/02/12 - 05:17 am
9
1
They damaged the locks, so

They damaged the locks, so they need to pay for the replacements and labor. Yes nail polish can be used on some types of glue,but this is damage it cannot fix. Give the girls the locks and see if they can sell them for money? Really? Where would they sell damaged locks? I understand waiting til court to see the outcome which must likely will be paying for the damage. But it would look much better on them, going before the Judge with all damages taken care of, and all parties taken full responsibility for their costly bad decision.

JohnBrownAug
1962
Points
JohnBrownAug 06/02/12 - 05:48 am
2
4
High Society, I understand

High Society, I understand your view, but if the locks have no value and can't be fixed why not give them to the girls? I suspect they can be fixed, but NO ONE WANTS TO ADMIT THAT FACT. Implying they would give them to unsuspecting buyers is a little presumptuous.

Whether it would be better for them to pay before going to court is up for debate with multiple parties involved and so on in addition to the valuation of the damage not being determined by the court.

It could very well be none of this comes into play and the girls will pay as soon as the procedure is made clear. It's only been a few weeks since the prank (May 11th). To talk about colleges not admitting them is a scare tactic.

What is pertinent is their grades on the exams that were thrust upon them at the last minute. I suspect they did very well, but reporting the grades would not fit the theme of the paper. Let's ask the girls what they scored. I suspect they scored much higher than the average student. Anyone going to ask that?

JohnBrownAug
1962
Points
JohnBrownAug 06/02/12 - 07:23 am
2
5
From the mail I'm getting,

From the mail I'm getting, these girls are the cream of the crop, bright and involved with school activities. Every single one of them making excellent grades without past disciplinary problems.

We've already slammed them pretty hard in print. Cheerleaders under attack theme. Rated X. Again, I want a reporter to ask the girls their grades on the exams they were forced to take.

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 06/02/12 - 06:17 am
3
3
I can't believe all the stuff

I can't believe all the stuff going on in the CSRA and this is one of the big "news" stories. Gossiping about high school pranks. Restitution, totally understandable and accepted. Felony charges? not so much.

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 06/02/12 - 06:47 am
0
0
It appears that someone needs
Unpublished

It appears that someone needs to put super glue between his fingers and try releasing it with fingernail polish remover. Further, someone apparently dosen't realize that repairs aren't done by wishing problems away, someone must go and make them. No wonder kids have no respect for other peoples property. What I don't understand is the DAs apparent unwillingness to prosecute for damage to government property. I am sorry but sometimes a little jail time is the best medicine for criminal behaviour.

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 06/02/12 - 06:58 am
0
0
I would also like to add that
Unpublished

I would also like to add that the cost estimate is absolutely bogus. These locks are commercial and generally cost in excess of $200 each. Now add the emergency response cost for workers to come in and open the facility, the cost to issue and account for new keys and the cost to order, pay for and install the items and the cost is actually well over $10,000.00. Remember that time is not free when workers are involved. To me it looks klike someone is deflating the real cost to pooh pooh the seriousness of the crime.

JohnBrownAug
1962
Points
JohnBrownAug 06/02/12 - 07:03 am
1
3
Omnom, the headline story no

Omnom, the headline story no less. LOL

ConcernedTaxpayer
28
Points
ConcernedTaxpayer 06/02/12 - 07:48 am
5
0
Locks

I am somewhat familiar with locks. At least some of them would have had to be drilled out in order to get into the building or room. They could not be repaired. It is also doubtful that fingernail polish remover would be able to penetrate into some of the intricate works of the lock in order to free it up. Giving the locks to the families would be a bad idea, because many of the locks are master keyed and if the students were able to obtain a key for those locks, they would have some access to many of the other schools in the county. I do not think the cost is unreasonable.

Lee Benedict
1560
Points
Lee Benedict 06/02/12 - 08:47 am
5
0
So what if the locks

So what if the locks vandalized by the high school seniors of their own free will can be repaired with nail polish remover or super glue? THEY made the decision to willfully damage taxpayer property, period. None of this, can it be fixed cheaper nonsense. Replace the locks that they trashed. Welcome to the real world kiddies. I hope that maintenance staff time, utilities, wear and tear on equipment, gas to get to the school, and everything else associated with their choice was included in the $5,000.00 figure.

Good for Charles, Regina, Wayne, Kristi, Mike, and Roxanne for withholding diplomas and transcripts until restitution is made! Send the message to the other cherubs who may be contemplating leaving their marks behind.

One reason people relocate to Columbia County is for the school system. It does not tolerate the garbage described in the above article. However, if one opts to press his/her luck, CCBOE has something for you. If all, or at least more, local school systems held their students accountable in such a fashion, then test scores, AYP, and other measures by which bureaucrats "judge" schools, will rise and reports of violence, vandalism, and chicanery will decline.

boodroe
1843
Points
boodroe 06/02/12 - 08:51 am
5
1
The locks can be fixed with nail polish remover

As I understand it some of these locks are electronic are you gonna place nail polish remover in electronics. Sure give the guilty the locks they damaged as they paid for them. But they committed a felony do you want felons graduating with good kids who don't commit felonious acts?

Discussionstarter
467
Points
Discussionstarter 06/02/12 - 09:39 am
5
0
CCBOE should not back down on this

This is tax payer money being spent to fix the locks. The girls should be required to repay the full amount [or, at least the parents will]. Now let's just hope the courts do not back down. And to the comment about not having enough time to study for the test...... if the girls had not been vandalizing public property... they would have had ample time to study.

CobaltGeorge
150910
Points
CobaltGeorge 06/02/12 - 09:53 am
6
0
Lee

"Good for Charles, Regina, Wayne, Kristi, Mike, and Roxanne for withholding diplomas and transcripts until restitution is made! Send the message to the other cherubs who may be contemplating leaving their marks behind."

I totally agree, but to place Felony Charges on their heads, I don't unless (prior law breaking actions have been committed in their past).

fatboyhog
1822
Points
fatboyhog 06/02/12 - 10:06 am
6
1
Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

These girls knowingly and willfully damaged property. That is a violation of the law. The amount of damage resulted in the felony charge. If someone with no previous criminal history broke into your house and did $5,000 worth of damage, would you be so forgiving? They will have their day in court. No one tagged them with a felony but themselves.

belle
301
Points
belle 06/02/12 - 11:05 am
0
0
locks
Unpublished

If your child were in school and a serious situation nearby, forcing the school to go on "lock down"....would you want old locks that have been tampered with and hopefully repaired or new ones that are in guaranteed working order?

tanbaby
1293
Points
tanbaby 06/02/12 - 11:16 am
3
1
i'm sure this comment has
Unpublished

i'm sure this comment has been made somewhere along the line, but i wonder if some of the commenters would be so forgiving if it were boys from Laney or Josey that did the damage to their schools???? and not the sweet and innocent girls from CC....

Jake
31693
Points
Jake 06/02/12 - 11:53 am
3
1
Transcripts

I took some college courses when I was in the Air Force in the early 70's. The high school I thought I "graduated" from would not release my transcripts because our family owed them some tuition money. At that time I did not have the money to pay so I took the GED test, passed, and then went about taking the courses.
Years later I contacted the school and paid my share of what was owed, lest you all think I am a deadbeat or entitled.
Hopefully the parents of these young adults will pay the bill and then the girls will make arrangements within their own families to pay them back. Should be a lesson learned for all concerned and a warning to others of the penalties of wanton vandalism.

CobaltGeorge
150910
Points
CobaltGeorge 06/02/12 - 12:43 pm
2
0
tanbaby

sweet and innocent girls v. girls with a bad history of law breaking changes everything...

If boys from Laney or Josey were good students with a clean back ground, my feelings would be the same.

CobaltGeorge
150910
Points
CobaltGeorge 06/02/12 - 12:46 pm
1
0
Jake

Enlighten me if you think they should be have a Felony charge placed on their heads?

JohnBrownAug
1962
Points
JohnBrownAug 06/02/12 - 12:49 pm
2
2
There is no indication the

There is no indication the families won't pay what they are told to pay by the court. They weren't allowed to walk at graduation. They had exams sprung on them at the last minute. (How did they do?) Of course the article gives some the opportunity to pile on the Columbia County girls again for their dumb prank.

CobaltGeorge
150910
Points
CobaltGeorge 06/02/12 - 01:01 pm
2
0
fatboyhog

"If someone with no previous criminal history broke into your house and did $5,000 worth of damage, would you be so forgiving? "

Not if I caught them in the act...there wouldn't be a day in court!

Lee Benedict
1560
Points
Lee Benedict 06/02/12 - 01:36 pm
3
0
"They weren't allowed to walk

"They weren't allowed to walk at graduation. They had exams sprung on them at the last minute. (How did they do?) Of course the article gives some the opportunity to pile on the Columbia County girls again for their dumb prank."

How so?

This happened near the end of the academic year, so, common sense dictates that they had final exams. So that "sprung on them at the last minute" stuff???

Here's a concept that the masses need to awaken to: public schools are places of learning funded by homeowners whether they have kids in the system or not. The structures and daily operations are paid for by taxpayers. So, once we warm up to the fact that these are places of learning, development, and growth, paid for by taxpayers for the betterment of the students' futures, we then should have no tolerance for students of their ages and functioning mental capacity doing what the did, which is, to knowingly and willfully damage...vandalize a building paid for and maintained by taxpayers.

As far as whether or not it should be a felony, it is, probably for the reasons I just offered. These young ladies are getting a dose of the real world, now let's see how they react. They are being held accountable, which is a good thing. For those who object to their actions being a "felony", discuss the matter with Bill Jackson, Jesse Stone, Ben Harbin, or Barbara Sims.

Lee Benedict
1560
Points
Lee Benedict 06/02/12 - 01:32 pm
3
0
By the way - remember from a

By the way - remember from a few years ago - the student who had a gun in his vehicle all week and then remembered that he had it when the bow-wows appeared on campus (Evans HS, I think)? That was a felony but he was not prosecuted, he was sent to the alternative school and for not very long. Many thought that the punishment was too severe.

Look, like it or not, the lad committed a felony. Is he a felon? No. But, he could have been prosecuted and had that (probable) felony conviction affixed to every college application and resume he sent. A relatively brief stay at the alternative school, versus, tried for a felony with the evidence to support the charge? The moral of the story is; since that incident, have there been any reportings of students bringing a gun on to school grounds? If so, I cannot recall. Now let's keep our eyes and our ears open for reports of students putting glue into the locks of doors or similar "pranks".

JohnBrownAug
1962
Points
JohnBrownAug 06/02/12 - 01:42 pm
1
1
Seniors were exempt from

Seniors were exempt from exams if they had good grades from what I understand and I think these girls had good grades. If you are going to make them take exams as a punishment it gets into a gray area of what's punishment and what's educating.

If they were going to be made to take exams they should have been given a few weeks to prepare. When the final decision to make them take exams was announced they didn't have that long to prepare. That's an unfair way to lower their permanent grades. I'd like to know how they did. Can a reporter ask the girls?

Mr. Benedict, you are a high school teacher. What would happen if you sprung an EXAM that meant a good portion of the final grade on unsuspecting students?

JohnBrownAug
1962
Points
JohnBrownAug 06/02/12 - 01:49 pm
1
1
First off, all of them will

First off, all of them will plead First Offender Status and have their records purged. There will be no felony on their records.

But I have to wonder considering the hard school punishment they have already received will the DA take that into consideration when bringing charges for this prank?

Jake
31693
Points
Jake 06/02/12 - 02:15 pm
2
0
@CG

No.

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