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Several Greenbrier soccer players sent to alternative school

Two absolved, returning to Greenbrier

Posted: March 29, 2013 - 4:01pm  |  Updated: March 29, 2013 - 4:05pm
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Greenbrier High School Principal Chris Segraves answers questions during a press conference at the school Friday.  Photo By Jim Blaylock
Photo By Jim Blaylock
Greenbrier High School Principal Chris Segraves answers questions during a press conference at the school Friday.

Twitter @ValerieRowell


More than half of Greenbrier High School’s boys varsity soccer team will finish the school year at the Columbia County Alternative School.

Eighteen of the team’s 25 players were kicked off the team and suspended from school last week pending a disciplinary hearing Friday morning.

Prior to the hearing, two players withdrew from the school system and 10 others waived their right to a hearing and opted to attend the alternative school. The remaining six went before the school system hearing officer Friday. Four were ordered to attend the alternative school, while two were absolved of wrongdoing and allowed to return to Greenbrier.

The students were accused of drinking alcohol during a team trip to Jekyll Island for a tournament March 14-16. The drinking supposedly took place mainly in hotel rooms. Two of the players, Superintendent Charles Nagle said, also admitted to smoking “spice,” synthetic marijuana.

The mother of one of the underclassmen who had a hearing Friday believes the punishments are inequitable. The seniors’ punishment ends in less than two months at graduation, while underclassmen must attend the alternative school for another semester.

In addition, she said, the students received the same punishment even if they confessed. “The ones that confessed were given the same consequence as those that fought it.”

The woman said her son was pressured and intimidated into taking a few sips of alcohol. The seniors also hazed the underclassman, a practice she said has been a tradition for soccer players attending the Jekyll Island tournament.

“My son was a victim of pressure and hazing and he’s punished until January,” she said.

Principal Chris Segraves said he’s disappointed that his students were put in such a position by breaking the school system code of conduct, but believes the students need to reap the consequences of their actions.

“This was their decision,” Segraves said, “They are the ones that put themselves in this position. And I’m sorry it happened.”

Students who are attending the alternative school “are not allowed to attend any function on campus until their suspensions are complete,” which includes proms, said Nagle, but seniors will be allowed to attend graduation if they’ve met the academic requirements.

The mother also complained that only four chaperones – two coaches, a parent and a bus driver – went on the trip to supervise the varsity girls and boys teams, and Segraves said he and staff are reviewing and amending the school’s travel protocol.

He hopes other students take a lesson from this episode.

“I want folks to learn from it whether it is in our school or any other high school, that this type of action is just not accepted and there are consequences for it,” he said.

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Comments (10)



Yes, the boys are paying the consequences while the school is "reviewing and amending the school's travel protocol". Anyone that has been a part of the soccer program knows this should have been done years ago! These teen boys are paying a much higher price for their immature decisions than the "authorities" over them are paying! Too bad they didn't have the opportunity to "review and amend" their negligent decisions like the school does!

Sweet son


I guess my first comment was too strong for the News Times so I will just say that the punishment was over the top!


I feel sorry for the boy

I feel sorry for the boy whose mother said he was a victim. He is not getting proper parenting. The mother wants to blame everybody but her son for his behavior. This is an excellent opportunity for her son to learn that there are bad consequences to bad behavior, and to learn to say no when people are trying to pressure you into bad behavior.

These parents send these kids off on these trips. What do they think will happen? Who would think that it's a good idea to send a group of teenage boys out of town and put them in a hotel room?

Her son is not mature enough at this time to handle being away from home. Most high school boys aren't. The parents said it was ok for him to go, now they get to live with the results.


The deed is done

The deed has been done; what happened to and with soccer players in years past doesn't apply here. They broke state law for one and could have been charged with a criminal charge. They could have been expelled, even the seniors. This IS harsh punishment but isn't punishment sometimes the vehicle to a hard learned lesson? This is not life altering except for a few months and if those players learn the lesson that they should learn, this will be their only such event in a lifetime. It's sad that they won't be able to attend the prom or other school events, but again, THEY are the ones who made the choices that they made. I doubt that one poster's comment about bad parenting is true - if those boys were able to play soccer chances are that they have GOOD parents who made certain that the boys had decent grades and behaved in school - sometimes boys being boys goes badly wrong and consequences have to be paid. Don't excuse their behavior but don't make it a federal case either. They participated, they got caught, they must "serve the time", lesson learned - hopefully.


Don't blame the school

The school officials are not to blame; they sent the boys and girls off to a tournament expecting them to properly represent the school. When things went awry it appears that the school is now reviewing procedures to see if any changes need to be made. All of those who represent the school at such events from this point forward can expect tougher expectations from the school and tougher policies. That's the way those things work.


What about the coaches?

I agree that the school officials are not to blame. I started to comment that the same thing would have happened to them if they had done this at a college event but then it seems that some schools have different rules. I have seen 5 starting players kicked off a college team for testing hot. I am wondering if the coaches were doing their due diligence in this case. Although they are not hired to be baby sitters, they have to keep the safety of the players in mind and be somewhat proactive in helping prevent situations like this. Where were bed checks? It doesn't take a lot of effort to prevent this from happening. Come on 18 players and no coaches suspected or knew anything about it.


Most soccer players focus on

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For some people is very

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