5 teens face charges over mailbox bomb

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Here's what not to do with the stuff you learn in science class.

Five Burke County High School students face felony charges for exploding a homemade bottle bomb in their principal's mailbox, according to police in Waynesboro, Ga.

Chief Karl Allen said charges of reckless conduct are pending against the mother of one of the boys, who lives across the street and two doors down from Principal Wayne Hickman.

Suzanne Sharkey, 39, of Edgewood Drive, told an investigator she bought the materials for the device at Wal-Mart. She said she knew the boys were making something that would explode but she saw no harm in it because they were only repeating an experiment they had learned at school, Chief Allen said.

She told police she did not know they would put the device into a mailbox, much less the one belonging to the principal and his wife, Renee, who teaches at the high school.

Authorities don't consider it a harmless prank.

"We do take this serious, and we'll proceed with this matter in the juvenile courts," Chief Allen said.

According to a police incident report, Mr. Hickman went home from work at about 5:20 p.m. Friday and found his mailbox ajar. It appeared the box had been on fire, and a chemical smell was emanating from inside.

Police found melted plastic on top of the Hickmans' mail and shreds of foil on the ground. A tip led to a group of boys who, when interviewed, admitted to playing with household products, Chief Allen said.

Evan Sharkey, 14; Joshua Anderson, 14; Nathan Chance, 15; James Oglesby, 14; and Travis Micots, 14, are charged with unlawful possession, manufacture and transport of a destructive device and with criminal damage to property.

Police haven't decided whether to charge the mother.

James Hyder, an attorney for Burke County schools, would say only that the situation is under investigation, which could lead to a tribunal. He would not say whether the boys have been suspended.

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or johnny.edwards@augustachronicle.com.

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sassygalady30
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sassygalady30 02/13/07 - 06:46 am
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so they say they don't know

so they say they don't know to charge the mother r not.ummmm she said she knew they was making it and bought the stuff for them to make it she needs to face charges as well why would a mother let her child do such a thing .....YES SHE SHOULD FACE CHARGES AS WELL.we gotta show parents they can't let there children do whatever to break the law then get away with it

NEone
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NEone 02/13/07 - 07:51 am
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So it's okay to do this at

So it's okay to do this at school but not at home? Mom didn't do anything wrong except lack of supervision.

cones
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cones 02/13/07 - 08:15 am
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When kids are sick enough to

When kids are sick enough to do this to their principal from school, for probably dealing with them at school, you're darn right mom did something wrong. Not only did she raise a little sicko, but she armed him as well. NEone worries me a little with this point of view.

oldsoldier63
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oldsoldier63 02/13/07 - 09:01 am
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I agree with NEone the mother

I agree with NEone the mother should not be charged give the yahoos community service have them explain to other kids why this was a stupid thing to do and have mom supervise them until their punishment is complete.

MyOpinion2
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MyOpinion2 02/13/07 - 09:10 am
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I too agree with NEone, I'm

I too agree with NEone, I'm sure had she known what the kids were going to do with the bomb making material, she probable would not have purchased the stuff. However, spare NO punishment for the children, they knew it was wrong.

nooneuknow
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nooneuknow 02/13/07 - 09:26 am
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To NEone & all of your

To NEone & all of your supporters. I am sure the teacher that taught this children how to make this explosive told them to go out & find their principal's mailbox & make it explode. GET REAL! This is why we have so many hoodlums running around the CSRA. Hold your children accountable & stop making excuses for your bad parenting. I think when you mess with a mail box it is a federal offense. I hope they max the punishment for the parent & the children. Authorities should make a point that this behavior will not be tolerated.

15
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15 02/13/07 - 09:34 am
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Why are they having a bomb

Why are they having a bomb making class at Burke County? Teens are curious. If they are taught to make METH.... Guess What Teacher?

lucky99mp
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lucky99mp 02/13/07 - 09:58 am
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Its a good thing that JROTC

Its a good thing that JROTC doesn't teach how to fire a weapon!

need2knowbasis
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need2knowbasis 02/13/07 - 10:24 am
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the burke county teacher who

the burke county teacher who showed them how to do it should be held more accountable than the parent. mom didn't do anything wrong. so she shouldn't be charged.

me2me2
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me2me2 02/13/07 - 10:29 am
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I agree that the kids knew

I agree that the kids knew what they were doing was wrong and that the mom should have been watching them a little better, but if you punish the mom for buying it what about the teach that taught them how to make it? the kids need to be punished. I not sure everyone has thought this through about the mom. If she is found guilty this would be a federal offense. This could cause her to loose her job depending on where she works and could keep her from getting another quality job. Maybe a fine or somethnig for the mom and teacher? What doesn everyone esle think?

eyeforeye0100101
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eyeforeye0100101 02/13/07 - 10:30 am
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This was an awlful thing for

This was an awlful thing for the kids to do, but I do not blame the mother in this instance. The kids that done this should be punished, subspenison, community service, ect. The kids are going to learn a valuable lesson from this and the will be able to realize the consequences of there actions in the future. We can not lock our children in there rooms till there 18, at some point we have to let them make there own decisions and pay the consequences.

ForHim
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ForHim 02/13/07 - 10:35 am
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I think the school system

I think the school system itself should own a little bit of this problem. Why in the world .. in this day and age .. would a school allow a teacher to show children how to make a bomb? And if my children asked me to buy materials to make a bomb "like the one they made in school" I would fast be asking some questions! And under NO circumstances would I purchase these materials for them. And these children should face the consequences of their actions as well. In my eyes, there are several owners of this crime.

me2me2
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me2me2 02/13/07 - 10:40 am
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This is for "ForHim" do you

This is for "ForHim" do you know what it takes to make a bomb I didn't until my high school teacher told me. there are several house hold products that any parent could buy not being aware of anything. If you have a pool you already have the stuff around. Maybe your right on one thing she should have ask more questions!!!

ForHim
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ForHim 02/13/07 - 10:57 am
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me2 .. I don't know what it

me2 .. I don't know what it takes to make a bomb. Never even considered that items that you use for your pool could be used. Thanks for the info. This forum is a good educational tool. And to elaborate on some of the stuff kids can get into ... did you know that kids can use cans of whipped cream or cans of compressed air to get high!!! Yes ... I did say whipped cream!

gnx
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gnx 02/13/07 - 12:23 pm
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Good heavens - it was a group

Good heavens - it was a group of imaginative boys that need a serious fanny-paddling and some type of community service to wake them up and make them aware that pranks of any kind aren't acceptable. The kids probably told her it was a harmless experiment showing explosive properties and the teacher probably never even demonstrated such a thing. Mom was probably thinking (and glad) that her child paid such close attention in school and wanted to encourage it, not even close to realizing what the kids actually intended to do. Let her pay for a new mailbox, let the county seriously work the 'fun' out of those kids to teach them a lesson and get on with it. I guarantee you none of their parents will be so trusting in the future.

fair is fair
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fair is fair 02/13/07 - 12:34 pm
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Another terrible thing about

Another terrible thing about this - The teacher had to have this in her lesson plans that are submitted to the OFFICE! I think she should have some accountability in this case. This is not the time to teach these types of things to curious kids. They probably did not think it would explode. (But it did!)

I know one of the children involved in this and from what I know he is a "good kid". I am in agreement with gnx.

However, I don't think the mother should have bought the materials for the children. I doubt the other parents' knew what was going on.

no4word
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no4word 02/13/07 - 12:47 pm
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I know a few of the boys

I know a few of the boys involved. There was no malicious intent involved which would warrant Federal charges. This was a variation of a prank that has been played many years before. Exploding mailbox is this year's version of egging the house or toiletpapering the yard. What they need is a dose of their own medicine....severe punishment in the form of community work, school work, etc. The Hickman's should not have to do a bit of yardwork, housework, etc for the balance of the year. And the five should not be allowed to "hang" together any more without parental supervision. Let Burke county spend its energy focusing on the really severe criminals in the town and county instead of going after mischievous youths. To respond to momf6 - if you ever took chemistry in high school you know how to make things blow up....the teacher is absolutely not at fault.

ForHim
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ForHim 02/13/07 - 01:07 pm
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no4word .. I took chemistry

no4word .. I took chemistry in high school and I didn't learn how to blow up anything. Things aren't like they used to be. Bombs of ANY sort are not pranks. It is serious business. Whatever their punishment, none of them should get a slap on the wrist. The time should definitely fit the crime ... and their will be a lot of opinions on what that might be ... but we have to keep a handle on our children AND take the responsibility when we don't do our job. We can't just sit by and assume that our children are not going to make errors in judgment. We need to be proactively "suspicious" and nip things in the bud. Even if we have good kids. I have wonderful children that I trust, and I'm all for letting them make some of their own mistakes. But some mistakes can't be taken back. The results of even a small blast could take off a finger, put out an eye, etc. Just think of fireworks and the damage it does each year. We consider that harmless, but it isn't.

typical1
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typical1 02/13/07 - 01:20 pm
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They did not have to take a

They did not have to take a science class to make a homemade bomb. The internet is full of that. Just like yesteryear, it appears to be one of those idiotic pranks. Immature teens thinking it would be "cool" to do it. On the other hand, another example of our government school educated children combined with a lack of vigilant parenting which seems to be an epidemic here in the Burke County area. So sad.

KingJames
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KingJames 02/13/07 - 01:42 pm
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Every adult involved should

Every adult involved should bear some of the responsibility for contributing to the deliquency of these minors, including the mother, the teacher, and the principal. The mother because she was crazy enough to buy the materials; the teacher because he/she taught the kids how to make the bomb; and the principal because the teacher submitted the lesson plan to the office for review/approval before the bomb lesson commenced. True enough, you can learn how to make a bomb on the Internet, but having your mother knowingly buy the materials is ridiculous. This just proves that parents need to exercise more judgement and become more involved in their kids' education. Sure, kids should learn "cool" stuff in science class, but in the years following many school shootings and attacks by students, the cool stuff should not include making bombs.

KingJames
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KingJames 02/13/07 - 01:46 pm
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thinkagain?...here's a quote

thinkagain?...here's a quote from the article. "James Hyder, an attorney for Burke County schools, would say only that the situation is under investigation, which could lead to a tribunal. He would not say whether the boys have been suspended." At press time, James Hyder could only say what could possibly happen to the boys. If they have been suspended, the suspension probably happened after his interview.

blc2138
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blc2138 02/13/07 - 01:58 pm
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You people dismissing this as

You people dismissing this as a harmless prank should be on the receiving end. There was nothing harmless about this regardless of intent. These boys should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. Dr. Hickman has two small children who may have been injured in this prank and a wife. What if they had stuck their hands in this mailbox? Think people. have you lost all ability to determine right and wrong?

kai@reasontostand.org
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kai@reasontostand.org 02/13/07 - 02:08 pm
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Isn't part of right and wrong

Isn't part of right and wrong determining just consequences for actions? What if you or your son had done something dumb and reckless like this. Would branding them as a felon for the rest of their life really be fair?

heyu.
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heyu. 02/13/07 - 02:30 pm
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these students were freshman.

these students were freshman. chemistry is not offered at BCHS until the 10th or 11th grade. these students would not have been in a class that would teach anything of the sort. as a recent student, chemistry was a class where you learned about chemical properties, we NEVER learned how to make a bomb or what would cause an explosive reaction. These students were getting this information from another source, possibly the Internet. These students should be held accountable for their actions. Also, at least one of the students involved was attending BCHS after being removed from area schools for drug related offenses. These students knew what they were doing when they did it. The fact of it being malicious or not, is not the issue. Tampering with a persons mail is a criminal offence. No matter what, these students will be charged with some type of serious offense. And YES, these students were suppended from school for 10 days, and are awaiting a tribunal.

Reader07
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Reader07 02/13/07 - 03:37 pm
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It is not a harmless prank

It is not a harmless prank when you intend bodily harm. In this post 9-11 era who is not aware of the severity of a bomb? Suspension has been handed out when it is even talked or written about. There have been several principals killed in this Country in the last few years. When are we going to stop making excuses for criminals just because they are young? As for the mother who would go and buy supplies for their teenagers to make a bomb for one and then not supervise the experiment? They could have been seriously hurt themselves.

dudenextdoor05
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dudenextdoor05 02/13/07 - 05:12 pm
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Um. Yall Have No Clue What

Um. Yall Have No Clue What Happened, So Yall need To Just Stop Sayin the Teacher Tought It, I Know what Happened, Teachers didnt teach it, cuz if they did, I Would no cuz i go to the dag gum school, and IT is legal to make a "bomb" in your backyard, or on your property, it wasnt even a bomb in my mind, it was more of a chemical reaction. So, Get your story straight before you go babbaling all around this internet page that you know the dictionary backwords, Now good Day!

ForHim
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ForHim 02/13/07 - 05:23 pm
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dudenextdoor .. What exactly

dudenextdoor .. What exactly do you think a chemical reaction is? A bomb is made to explode and they explode because of the chemicals used in it (chemical reaction). You may also want to read up on bombs and laws regarding bombs, etc.

Augusta Mom
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Augusta Mom 02/13/07 - 05:44 pm
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Mailboxes are "federal

Mailboxes are "federal property"...it is a federal charge to damage that property.My younger brother was lost on a country road many years ago and opened a mailbox (with mail enclosed) to look at the address. He was caught doing this...and could have been charged as such. He was 17 years old and old enough to have known better.

sweetcaroline1971
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sweetcaroline1971 02/13/07 - 05:57 pm
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The mother here is very slack

The mother here is very slack to buy items without asking questions and supervising. What kind of parent would be so careless? An elderly gentleman in our church has had his rural mailbox blown up 4 times in the last year by some bratty teenagers living in a country club neighborhood. He does not have the financial means to purchase numerous new mailboxes and the postal carrier will not leave mail in a box that is damaged. The last act burned his monthly social security check
This is a crime....not a harmless prank!

DANIELSJ
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DANIELSJ 02/13/07 - 07:25 pm
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Being a mother of two myself,

Being a mother of two myself, I believe that the mother should be charged, because as long as the child is under 18 years of age the parents are responsible. I don't care if my child told me she needed some things that would blow up I would have to check with his or her teacher to find out exactly what my child needed it for. As parents we have to be willing to accept responsibility for our children's actions. Let's stop making excuses for our kids.

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