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Investigation into Greenbrier soccer trip continues

Friday, March 22, 2013 8:04 PM
Last updated Saturday, March 23, 2013 12:03 AM
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Some of the Greenbrier High boys soccer players kicked off the team for drinking on a school-sponsored trip are balking at the suspensions, voicing their reactions on a social networking site that helped get them in trouble.

One suspended player posted to Twitter on Thursday: “all these ‘anonymous’ parents need to get a ... life and stop commenting on the articles. Big deal we went to an island and had fun.”

He later posted, “This is so stupid. Blowing this whole thing out of proportion. I have zero respect for greenbrier administration anymore.”

The same student also posted that he doesn’t blame anyone else for the incident: “Its not coach warren or coach balls fault were all held accountable for our decisions.”

Another student posted, “People act like the people who did wrong at jekyll are the worst people ever, i do believe ive seen all of yall drunk before.”

Eighteen players were suspended this week over an incident that happened while on Jekyll Island for a tournament March 14-16. The drinking reportedly took place mainly in hotel rooms. Two of the players admitted to smoking Spice, which is synthetic marijuana Columbia County school Superintendent Charles Nagle said during a news conference Thursday.

The incident came to the attention of administrators through posts on a Twitter account, and the school safety officer started looking into related social media posts.

The players were suspended for 10 days pending a school disciplinary hearing, which should be next week. Nagle said the system would allow any of them waiving a hearing to begin attending the alternative school Monday.

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office personnel are looking into how the students obtained the alcohol and drugs.

“The school is handling the students, and we will continue our investigation on who supplied the contraband items,” sheriff’s Maj. Rick Whitaker said Friday.

The suspensions put a damper on Class AAAAA’s No. 2-ranked Wolfpack (7-0-2), who are scheduled to play host to No. 1-ranked McIntosh (12-0) on Saturday at 4 p.m. Junior varsity players are expected to move up to fill out the varsity roster.

“These kids that put on the soccer uniform Saturday and Tuesday will put it on and wear it with pride,” Green­brier Athletic Director Garrett Black said.

The Wolfpack can clinch first place in Region 2A-AAAAA with a win in one of its next two region games against Lakeside or Grovetown.

“People can say what they want to say, but Greenbrier High School is a great school,” Black said. “We have great kids. We have great coaches, great teachers, great administrators. There are so many positives that happened every single day in our high school. And I’m proud to be a part of Greenbrier High School.”

Comments (34) Add comment
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Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/23/13 - 04:10 pm
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Barry Paschal said

Barry Paschal said, "Riverman: Under the student code of conduct, any student suspended for 10 days or more has the right to appear before the school hearing officer. That's the "right" Nagle refers to. It is routine for students facing long-term suspension - as these are - to be allowed to go to the alternative school if they forego the hearing. The ones who go to the hearing likely will recieve out-of-school suspension for the remainder of the semester with the option of attending the alternative school. If you look at the school hearings we publish each Wednesday, you'll see similar sentences for on-campus drug or alcohol use, and because this was a school-sponsored trip it would be fall under the code for on-campus violations."

Barry, oh how well I remember this issue from the glue in the locks Greenbrier girls making coerced statements to school authorities that were used against then in court. If what you say is accurate it appears the “rights” of appearing before a school hearing officer are less than stellar, if the student is told beforehand to waive those rights and they will receive a lesser punishment as Nagle apparently said.

I’d like to see this issue addressed legally, if you don't mind. At the least all students should be told anything they say or admit to school authorities could be used against them and advised to have an attorney become involved with their case early regardless of what Nagle implies, AND WITHOUT COERCION. The courts are increasingly looking at this school exemption of rights.

See re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967),a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that held that juveniles accused of crimes in a delinquency proceeding must be afforded many of the same due process rights as adults.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 03/23/13 - 04:01 pm
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Crime Shows

If parents and students together would watch two or three of those "true crime" shows where they show film footage from police interrogation rooms, perhaps students would learn not to answer questions from school officials when the student is suspected of breaking a rule. But kids can't think fast on their feet.

It is the school officials’ duty to try to trick the student (largely through intimidation) into incriminating himself; but the student would be better off to remain silent and let his parent or a lawyer do the talking.

735
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Barry Paschal 03/23/13 - 05:54 pm
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Not criminal procedings

You should keep in mind that those aren't criminal procedings. They are student code of conduct procedings. As such, the rules aren't the same as they are with police or in court. The students aren't accused of crimes; they are accused of violating the student code of conduct and handled accordingly.

Little Lamb
47284
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Little Lamb 03/23/13 - 07:19 pm
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Silence

Yes, but they still should not say anything to anybody until they talk to their parents. Mind you, I'm not criticizing school officials for tricking them into talking before they tell their parents. I'm just saying that parents should try (and trying is all they can do) to instill in their children that school officials do not necessarily have each individual child's best interest at heart, and the child should insist on talking to their parents before they talk to school officials in instances of possible wrongdoing.

LillyfromtheMills
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LillyfromtheMills 03/23/13 - 07:43 pm
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I'd rather tell the school

Than my parents!

LillyfromtheMills
13978
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LillyfromtheMills 03/23/13 - 07:48 pm
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RM

We can't change this - these kids were wrong. The schools have rules. We did wrong, but the rules were different 40 years ago.

DEVGRU6
17
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DEVGRU6 03/23/13 - 09:29 pm
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Perspective

Chase Burnett, a 16-year-old sophomore and junior varsity soccer player at McIntosh (Peachtree City, Ga.), died late Friday after smoking synthetic marijuana known as “Spice,” according to a story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

His father, David Burnett, was quoted in the AJC as saying, "If my son’s tragic mistake can save the life of another child, then his life will not have been in vain."

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