'Hefty' threat fines sought

  • Follow Metro

The backlash against Richmond County students who called in a slew of bomb threats will soon be reaching the state capital.

When it does, parents could find the threats costly and their children could find themselves without a driver's license.

To quell the threats, State Sen. Ed Tarver, D-Augusta, has drafted legislation that holds parents accountable, by hitting them in the pocketbooks, each time a threat is made against a school. According to the draft of the legislation, which hasn't been filed, parents would be fined $5,000 for each threat if the courts find parents "deprived" the child by not providing reasonable supervision and care.

The money would reimburse emergency officials for the costs of responding to the threats, and the remainder would go to the school system.

That's a "hefty" fine, Richmond County Superintendent Dana Bedden said Tuesday night when discussing the proposal with school board members at a committee meeting.

But board members are recommending the penalties be even stiffer, asking the senator to also revoke the driver's license of any student caught making a bomb threat.

After endorsing the get-tough measure, board members also showed support Tuesday night for Dr. Bedden's plan to require students to make up the time they miss during the constant interruptions.

If the threats continue, the superintendent could lengthen the school day, require students to attend class on professional learning days or extend the school year into the summer for the schools where threats occurred.

There had been few bomb threats throughout most of the school year, but in January they "jumped off the charts," Dr. Bedden said. Earlier this month, however, the threats grew quiet.

Since the Richmond County Sheriff's Office began tracking down callers making the threats, arresting them and detaining them, no threats have been called in, according to school officials.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

IN OTHER BUSINESS


In other actions taken in committee that will now be brought before the full board, board members:


- Allowed Historic Augusta Inc. to inspect schools that might be listed as surplus to assist in their sale and preservation


- Agreed to change the school calendar to nine-week grading periods starting in the fall


- Approved the goals that Superintendent Dana Bedden will be graded on.

Comments (51) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
common-sense-justice
0
Points
common-sense-justice 02/20/08 - 06:16 am
0
0
I say just put the little

I say just put the little monsters in YDC for about 6 months. They will think a long time before they do it again.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 02/20/08 - 06:59 am
0
0
Is anyone surprised that the

Is anyone surprised that the latest round of bomb threats involving RCBOE schools ended when Ronnie Strength and his people arrested suspects? The same scenario occurred in the latest round of Greenbrier bomb threats when Clay Whittle and his people made an arrest. Two coincidences or two examples of swift actions by county sheriff departments exerting their preventive influences on the perpetrators and their prospective copycats?

NEone
6
Points
NEone 02/20/08 - 08:01 am
0
0
About time they get tough on

About time they get tough on these punks!

Chuchi
2
Points
Chuchi 02/20/08 - 08:24 am
0
0
About time they held parents

About time they held parents responsible for their unsupervised minor children's actions.

disgusted
0
Points
disgusted 02/20/08 - 08:31 am
0
0
you have to stop and look at

you have to stop and look at both sides here if the parent sent the kid to school and the parent went to work how is the parent responsible for the bomb threat lets be real here you can teach a kid the right thing to do but when he is out with his peers they can talk them into a lot of things but the patrent had been doing the right thing think about it

pofwe
5
Points
pofwe 02/20/08 - 08:42 am
0
0
Dr. Bedden done good.

Dr. Bedden done good.

DeborahElliott2
4
Points
DeborahElliott2 02/20/08 - 08:44 am
0
0
I agree disgusted, that is a

I agree disgusted, that is a catch 22 for parents who let their kids go to school with a cell phone. I think that if a student got left behind at school, the school would call a parent to come get them or something. Some kids just don't want to be in school cause they don't tell their parents that they are being bullied, so they do whatever it takes to get away from a situation, such as bomb threats. I think if the school started getting on the kids for that, they would have less threats and more people willing to stay in classes.

amazed1
0
Points
amazed1 02/20/08 - 08:58 am
0
0
Any kind of threat in schools

Any kind of threat in schools today is no laughing matter. The sooner kids learn this the better. Harsh penelties is a sure way to get their attention.

lilmace
0
Points
lilmace 02/20/08 - 09:11 am
0
0
While parents should be held

While parents should be held accountable for their children's behavior, the children also need to realize that if they break the law they need to be accountable. Show these children what it is like to live at YDC-make their home a tiny cell. This may prevent them from becoming residents of the prison system later. It is possible to teach your children values, responsibilities, and bring them up right, but that child may do the opposite when with their peers.

Just the Facts Please
0
Points
Just the Facts Please 02/20/08 - 09:17 am
0
0
I am all for punishing those

I am all for punishing those that did the crime not those that were in school working and doing their jobs. Why penalize the employees of the schools affected by making them teach/work longer days, that I know for sure the board of education may NOT pay those workers affected? There is a little known law in Georgia that allows the State School Board to extend the year without pay. My question to the State School Board and the Richmond County School Board is "Are you going to pay all the staff and teachers overtime for the time you will make students attend extra?" If the answer is a flat no (and I suspect it is) then Dr. Bedden will have his hands full with belligerent staff members who will either actively and passively fight him and the school board. Please I implore you do not make the employees who were there more victim of this than they are already. Certainly you will send the children a message but the adults here should be treated fairly in this action.

HGGP
0
Points
HGGP 02/20/08 - 09:40 am
0
0
Sick and Tired, while I do

Sick and Tired, while I do agree that the teachers should be compensated, I also disagree. The teachers missed out on their instructional time as well. They have already been paid for the time that was missed. Although it was not their fault that it was missed. Sometimes in life, it is not fair. But while sending a message to the students the teachers and staff are a little inconvienenced, then so be it. The teachers and staff as educators should b behind Dr. Beddon 100%. The should be there to support him in this matter. It will only take once or twice of this happening to get the message across. Life is not fair. But our teachers should be in this profession because of the love they have for the children. If they are not then they need to find a new profession. Life is full of sacrifices and I think that this would be one they would need to sacrifice. It is not about being fair or unfair, it is about teaching the children. The children need to realize that their actions do not only affect them. They affect many people around them. Fair or not it needs to happen.

getalife
4
Points
getalife 02/20/08 - 09:40 am
0
0
I'm not sure I agree with the

I'm not sure I agree with the proposed legislation. While parents are responsible for their children's actions, they cannot be with them 24 hours a day. I don't think that most of these parents would be able to pay the penalty. For those parents not able to pay, would the government setup a new program to help them pay?? Maybe 6 months at YDC could help cure this problem. I'm not for letting these kids get away with this very dangerous action, but this legislation is an over-kill.

disgusted
0
Points
disgusted 02/20/08 - 09:42 am
0
0
it is totally not right to

it is totally not right to punish any of the other kids for those kids did they are being punished for no reason. if they punish them for something they didnt do then theyll think why not go ahead and do it we are going to be punished for it anyway. what kind of leaders do we have here they are total idiots. how would he like it if someone went and kicked his butt and then sent him to jail for being the victim i promise you he would protest that all to hell and back

feduptohere
0
Points
feduptohere 02/20/08 - 09:53 am
0
0
Making the parents pay is not

Making the parents pay is not the answer. Until the idiots in Atlanta start allowing the juvenile court system to LOCK THESE PUNKS up and show them that they mean business it is not going to stop. These kids do not care that their parents are being fined, it does not hurt them in the least. I work in the juvenile court system and I see it everyday! These kids go around telling other kids exactly what they can do and what the consequences will be. NOTHING! Probation! So what, they don't care. A lot of parents are frustrated with the system and I hope they start writing their legislators and telling them so. If not it is only going to get worse.

mojo
0
Points
mojo 02/20/08 - 09:55 am
0
0
If they're old enough to

If they're old enough to drive, carry cell phones and call in bomb threats it's time to call in law enforcement. I doubt a fine for your parent is much deterent for a teenager who's willing to call in bomb threats.

Waymore
103
Points
Waymore 02/20/08 - 10:00 am
0
0
These bomb threats aren't

These bomb threats aren't being called in by kids being bullied; they are being called in by kids who think it's funny and cool to disrupt school. In addition to the fines, these kids should get time in YDC, (jail if old enough) and spend the time in solitary confinement and/or forced to perform mandatory labor, 7 days a week. Maybe picking up trash along the road or doing yard work at YDC would do them some good. To add teeth to the punishment, anyone convicted of charges should be banned from returning to public school anywhere in the state. If they want a GED, they pay for it out of pocket. It's time these fools get the treatment they deserve. While it's true that parents cannot be with their kids 24/7, the bulk of these kids don't fear their parents or the law. It's time for that to change. When I was growing up, I feared the wrath of my father more than the law. Some of theses kids today fear nothing. It's time to stop treating bomb threats as a joke. When the law gets serious, and these punks get real punishment/discipline, the threats will drop drastically.

Daddyrabbit
0
Points
Daddyrabbit 02/20/08 - 10:30 am
0
0
Fine the parents? No matter

Fine the parents? No matter how well taught and supervised your children are you cannot be with them 24 hrs a day. Questions are why are the parents not supervising more closely? Maybe the economy is so bad the both have to work a lot. What if they don't have the money for the fines? Do you put the parents in jail for something they didn't do? If you do, they definitely cannot pay the fines OR support the wayward children or their siblings.....Teach them best you can and rely on them to adhere to the policies you dictate. Remember you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. That's very old, but true. If they do something wrong THEY should have to pay.

dani
12
Points
dani 02/20/08 - 11:06 am
0
0
The juvenile department

The juvenile department doesn't help matters when they tell these kids what will happen to them if they continue to do whatever they are doing. They continue and nothing happens. They see the whole thing as a joke. I realize that the Juvie Dept, can't enforce laws but they have to be more honest and up-front with the offenders and their parents.

JimiBob
0
Points
JimiBob 02/20/08 - 11:28 am
0
0
what if they can't afford to

what if they can't afford to pay?

ColaCountyParent
0
Points
ColaCountyParent 02/20/08 - 11:38 am
0
0
This article may be about

This article may be about Richmond County schools, but believe me it is happening in Columbia County schools as well. My child has been out of his Greenbrier High School classes at least 2 times each month this school year.. Now, they've taken away their Club Day hoping that peer pressure will make these kids stop the bomb threats. Will this help? No, because the kids making the threats aren't involved in anything as mundane as a school club. They are more interested in being hoodlums and showing everyone how well they can manipulate everyone around and they don't have peers that will care if Club Day is taken away. I'm with the "send them to YDC" mind set. Kids today aren't afraid of the legal system anymore because they know their punishment will not be anything they care about. If the parents can't control them, do you really think their friends will be able to?

na_bboy
13
Points
na_bboy 02/20/08 - 11:56 am
0
0
Most parents send their

Most parents send their children to school with the mentality that now there the schools problem, having them be responsible for the childs actions at school will benefit the teacher and the students who do attend school to learn. The days of detention and suspension no longer strike fear in kids, make their parents pay for their actions, and then we'll start getting results. Sending a child to YDC to learn more criminalistic behavior doesn't work, look at all the adult repeat offenders that are in and out of the prison system, its not a deterrent it's usually the beginning of a never ending cycle.

disgusted
0
Points
disgusted 02/20/08 - 12:09 pm
0
0
nabboy how stupid i guess you

nabboy how stupid i guess you dont have any kids that is clear. if you did you wouldnt want to pay for something you did not do. you are detention and suspension dont work . they have to be punished not their parents or the other kids and teachers in the school only the kids that commited the crime is guilty not everyone. if your kid kills someone do you think you should do life in prison how bout it stupid

dani
12
Points
dani 02/20/08 - 12:17 pm
0
0
Wouldn't it work if we could

Wouldn't it work if we could establish work camps, like farming, construction, etc for these delinquents. Have school in the morning, then put them to work. They would have to pay a fine to get back out using their earnings. They might be better adjusted upon release.

reddog
2
Points
reddog 02/20/08 - 12:44 pm
0
0
Discipline starts at home. I

Discipline starts at home. I work 50-60 hours a week and so does my spouse; my kids know the rules--school is your job and you behave the way you have been taught at home. Don't bring shame to your family. If my child caused the county to pay out hard earned tax money for a bogus bomb threat--I should have to pay for it, not the other tax payers of the county. You can't be with them 24 hours but the time you have with them it is your duty as a parent to instill respect and discipline and if you fail you should pay--not the rest of us.

na_bboy
13
Points
na_bboy 02/20/08 - 12:44 pm
0
0
disgusted, when was the last

disgusted, when was the last time you set in a classroom with 30 children and 1 teacher? There is never enough time to teach when you're disciplining. Most children will tell there teacher to "tell my parents they aren't gonna do anything anyway." I spent 6 years working for the RCBOE, children welcome detention, they look at suspension as a vacation, it doesn't change the mentality of the child or the parents. Start hitting the parents where it hurts, and then you'll get results. I agree 5g's is alot for making prank phone calls but these days having 100 dollars of hard earned pay going to schools becauses of your childs discipline issues will force parents to take more stock in there childs performance at school, and I have 3 in Richmond county schools.

disgusted
0
Points
disgusted 02/20/08 - 01:01 pm
0
0
nabboy you are not listening.

nabboy you are not listening. parents can by law only so much. if you put a hand on your kids you will be arrested and the kids know that so why fining the parent going to help anything. you are just looking for someone to blame and the parent is the scape goat in this situation. the state has to give the parents back the right to correct their kids then if they do wrong you can put part of the blame on the parents. at least we could try to change them then . stop and think about it the kids look at you and tell you you cant do nothing and they are right if we touch them we go to jail for abuse bull crap lets get back to the way it used to be. other wise leave the parents alone

What4
0
Points
What4 02/20/08 - 01:08 pm
0
0
If the parents both work..I

If the parents both work..I would give them a break..For the others..Let's cut off the welfare checks for the ones that don't work and raise multiple punks?

How about that unearned income tax credit for having bunches of kids you can't afford to support and supervise? Maybe this goes, too? Our governmental welfare polices are at the heart of many of these problems. We have created this monster, and then sit here and wring our hands wondering why this is occurring.

S.MYRICK
0
Points
S.MYRICK 02/20/08 - 01:17 pm
0
0
I think that for every day

I think that for every day the students had a bomb threat and missed time they should add those days to the end of the year. That way it punishes the students for their actions.

Farful
7
Points
Farful 02/20/08 - 01:24 pm
0
0
Craigspinks, you are too hard

Craigspinks, you are too hard on these fine young people. It is not their fault that they don't know right from wrong. They are merely victims of circumstance and products of our permissive society.

142
Points
Dan White 02/20/08 - 01:25 pm
0
0
Homegrown, are you crazy.

Homegrown, are you crazy. Teachers have to monitor the children when they are forced to go outside because of a bomb threat! That in itself is working and is a hard job. They should get paid if extra days are added. Teachers love kids or they wouldn't be in that profession. But I can guarantee you that if they were not paid, there would be no teachers. No one works for free, and the idea of extending school because of bomb threats is nuts. It punishes the good kids because of the bad. I say find the thugs, fine their parents $5,000, and punish them. Besides, the thugs will not come to school the extra days any way. They are the ones with chronic discipline problems and high absentism.

Back to Top

Loading...