Current weather

  • Clear sky
  • 66°
    Clear sky
  • Comment

Greenbrier seniors banned from graduation

Four girls arrested for gluing locks disallowed from commencement

Posted: May 15, 2012 - 9:17am  |  Updated: May 16, 2012 - 3:46pm
Back | Next
Four Greenbrier High School seniors were charged with second-degree criminal trespass, a felony, on Friday after tips led to their arrests for gluing shut the doors of the school. Charged are Brooklyn Bella, 17 (clockwise from top left); Dynisha Clemons, 17; Kristen Tannehill, 18; and Elizabeth Metz, 17.  Columbia County Sheriff's Office
Columbia County Sheriff's Office
Four Greenbrier High School seniors were charged with second-degree criminal trespass, a felony, on Friday after tips led to their arrests for gluing shut the doors of the school. Charged are Brooklyn Bella, 17 (clockwise from top left); Dynisha Clemons, 17; Kristen Tannehill, 18; and Elizabeth Metz, 17.

Twitter @ColumbiaCounty

Greenbrier High School girls jailed last week for squirting super glue into door locks as a senior prank won’t be allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies on Saturday.

Columbia County schools Superintendent Charles Nagle said Tuesday that the girls also won’t get their high school diplomas until they pay the $5,100 cost to repair the locks at the school.

Columbia County authorities arrested on Friday Brooklyn Leigh Bella, 17; Elizabeth Sutton Metz, 17; Dynisha Antoinette Clemons, 17; and Kristin Arey Tannehill, 18; with second degree criminal damage to property, a felony, according to a sheriff’s office report.

Three of the seniors allegedly squirted super glue onto 43 exterior locks at the school Thursday evening, said sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris in an email.

The fourth girl helped plan the prank, Morris said, but didn’t specify which one.

The vandalism was discovered Friday morning as school opened.

School officials offered a reward and suspended senior privileges until tips provided to deputies uncovered the four charged, Morris said.

All four teens were booked into the Columbia County Detention Center and released after each posted $2,600 bonds, Morris said.

In addition to their arrests, Nagle said the girls were suspended for the rest of the school year, which concludes Friday.

However, Nagle said the girls will be allowed back into the school to take their final exams. Any exam exemptions the seniors might have earned with good grades and attendance were lost when they were suspended.

When six Lakeside High School seniors committed the same prank in June 1993, they too were charged with second degree criminal damage to property, were suspended from school and barred from taking part in graduation ceremonies. Those students also had to pay restitution before receiving their diplomas.

 

  • Comment

Comments (11)

ncflyer

ahh, the future of our country

so glad these whizkids are getting ready to graduate and enter the workforce. Feel much better now about the future of our country. The parents must be beaming with pride. Such outstanding young ladies.

cocopol

Yes Im sure you would feel

Yes Im sure you would feel the same way if they were your kids ncflyer, but im sure your kids are angels right?

MamainEvans

Punishment, too harsh or enough?

My daughter is a senior at Greenbrier and I have to say she is the opinion that the felony was destructive in more ways than one. These girls already represented the school by being cheerleaders (actually they represented the football team), therefore they should know that they have a certain role within the school. Next, these girls are seniors. They are not some young children that are not aware of their actions or that their actions will cause a reaction. Given, they might have thought the entire episode a gag, or a funny thing to do, but gluing (and nailing) the lockers closed as well as removing traffic signs not only disrupted the flow of school on that day, but also could have created serious accidents (traffic signs, seriously?). My daughter takes pride in going to Greenbrier; she loves her school and her teachers and is grateful to be allowed to go to such a great school, but now she is saddened because she believes that these girls definitely ruined the reputation of the school (aside from destroying their own lives).

We have debated on the punishment issue. I am a very strict mom and have to say that (thank the Lord) I have never had any problems with any of my four children, ever. I am blessed that they have always excelled in school and have a positive attitude toward life and taking responsibility for whatever they do. The latter has been taught to them, extensively. Possibly a lesson that these girls might have slept through, sadly. I believe that the girls should not go to jail for a year or longer, that seems harsh BUT I do believe that they need to be punished to an extent that they will NEVER forget what they have done.

Community service? Definitely, but not an easy one. Working in the hospital, soup kitchens, assisted living, cleaning and scrubbing...I am talking LABOR here, not something that mom or dad can buy their way out of. I also think that the entire summer (plus some) should be spent on this. The restitution should come from wages that the girls earn (and should be proven that it comes from this source). As for detention, how about two weeks in a facility that shows the girls what happens when this is the route they choose to take in life? Then of course a public apology from each of the girls, in oral form (in front of the Board of Education) and then a written apology to the school.

That the girls are not allowed to walk is appropriate. We cannot give the kids the message that when they do something wrong they just have to do some service, mom and dad pay up and all is well. In the end, it depends upon what the judicial system is going to do with the girls based upon the law, which by the way was written to deter and punish such actions. It also depends upon the remorse of the girls and possibly their offer of resolving this matter (via their attorneys) and whether or not this is accepted by the D.A.

I hate to say it, but here four beautiful (and actually intelligent) young women botched up their lives because of what they thought was a prank. What are kids being taught these days?

For every action there is a reaction...take responsibility for both.

Riverman1

Intent Must be Considered

These girls had no intent, nor undertook anything that could result in injury. They also didn't steal anything. It was simply a prank that ended up costing them a good bit. We all did crazy things as teens. So come on, y'all, telling them how bad they are isn't a kind thing. They are going to pay for the damages for goodness sakes. They are all beautiful, smart, school spirited girls with great futures.

Riverman1

Many More Involved

Keep in mind one of the girls did not actually put glue in any of the locks. She had helped plan the escapade or something. It now appears many more students were involved with the planning or kept quiet knowing what was going to happen. So more arrests are pending with the resultant school penalties. This could get interesting if half the school is missing from graduation.

Goodness some of the detailed suggested punishments above are hard to believe. Some appear to believe the girls should be punished more severe than the norm. The norm is first offender status, a fine and some community service. It's said above the kids should not go to jail for a year or more, implying months in jail would be okay. That kind of thinking is scary.

A lady

riverman is an inside man?

Riverman-- how do you know about these other pending arrests? Is that info in an article somewhere else? I will tell you what the students say is the real deal-- the 4th girl did not actually do the gluing but planned it and bought the supplies and was only not there because her mother ordered her home, I guess suspecting something was up. So her intent and the planning make it clear she was a part of the so called prank. I believe the officials may have even seen the text messages she had sent out asking/planning the "prank". Also, this was being planned at the baseball game( ski masks etc to disguise identities) and many students overheard talk about it so they when everything went down on fri- the administration had numerous tips within a couple of hours. Supposedly, other students tried to talk them out of it but they would not be deterred. I understand THEY did not get the seriousness of their prank but what law abiding adult defends 5000$ worth of damage to property? In what universe is that NOT a crime- just espousing ignorance is not enough to excuse a crime. Where in the world would that be a good excuse when committing a crime? A strong message needs to be sent to these students and any others that have the nerve to damage the school. I do NOT advocate jail time for this, or even a felony record, but completely support the decision for them to be banned from the ceremony and that they must pay back the school system before they get their diplomas.I hope they get community service too. Sorry- consequences are sometimes the only thing that teaches a lesson and I can assure you- several of these girls are expressing no remorse and one even had the nerve to post facebook pictures of partying after being released from jail with the caption "feeling famous". Guess who was also in the picture? One of the girls from the LHS prom party bust! Supposedly several of the parents of these girls arent all that upset nor do they think their kids did something all that wrong. But , really, is that a surprise? Isnt that what makes a senior in high school disrespect property when nearly every other kid at GHS thinks they were downright stupid& reckless?

Riverman1

A Lady...

No, Ma'am, not an insider. I don't have personal knowledge of the girls either. It's just my nature to go against the grain when I see others going overboard. It can be the smallest thing concerning Lakeside or Greenbrier and people attack with pitchforks. But to answer your question, it was said today in a certain broadcast media that more were involved and more arrests are imminent. I wish these girls success in college next year.

Riverman1

You Said Others Knew?

A Lady, you said in your post that many others heard the talk at the game and knew what was going to happen? They didn't tell the authorities? Isn't it a felony crime if you don't report an impending crime you have knowledge of?

A lady

knowledge of crime

River-- I am not certain people heard all parts of planning- bits and pieces I think .I am not sure they will charge kids who may have known but did nothing-- I know they leaned on them, questioned them, made some of them prove they werent there if they heard they had knowledge.I agree people come out with pitchforks but really, can you blame them-- these are pretty, privileged( in a couple of the families) girls who just quite frankly do not act very nice alot of the time. Several of them( but not all) are not highly thought of by teachers and peers. I hate to say that but its true. Its actually kind of sad but the truth is they are( with the exception of one) the "mean girls" of GHS when it comes to their peers & they are not exemplary students in effort and grades across the board. Again, I certainly dont want them to go to jail but as far as the school- they are getting what they asked for.And the school doesnt decide felony status. Thats just the law in Ga.

MamainEvans

The issue here is that it was not a prank but a crime.

One has to understand that damaging public property and endangering others by destroying (in this case pulling down) traffic signs is not just seen as a minor misdemeanor. If this had been committed by some teenage boys people would possibly (even probably) view the entire issue differently.

I do not advocate jail time for this at all, I had read in earlier posts that others do. I do think that sending the girls to a form of detention instead (only in the case that they have to actually go to some form of "jail") might be helpful. I do advocate that the girls (or if it were boys then the same is true for them) be punished and not just slapped on the hand. No one came to physical harm, but that does not mean that it was not possible. There are laws that state what is to happen in cases where the damages exceed a certain amount. It is up to the state to find an appropriate punishment that is not too harsh and unjust, as well as still efficient enough to let the girls learn a lesson.

If both sides, attorney for the defendants and the D.A. can resolve this matter by finding a midway, then everyone can go on from there. Do not let this ruin the lives of these girls, considering that no one actually came to harm. But also remember that these girls did commit a crime, intentionally, although with a high probability of not understanding the full repercussions of their actions. Still, give them a change for restitution and to redeem themselves as well as a chance to move on from there. This should not hinder them from going to college, that would be a terrible injustice.

In the midst of all of this, do not forget that there are enough students that worked hard toward their high school diploma, were not involved in this mess and should not have this throw a shadow on their achievements or success. Greenbrier is graduating on this Saturday. Let us not forget that.

For every action there is a reaction...take responsibility for both.

Little Lamb

Silence

Riverman asked:

Isn't it a felony crime if you don't report an impending crime you have knowledge of?

For the general public, there is no requirement to report a crime that is to be committed in the future. In fact, there is no requirement to report a crime that has been committed in the past. Many, many crimes go unreported.

Follow News-Times:

News-Times Video »

CONTACT US

  • Main: 706-868-1222
  • Fax: 706-823-6062
  • Email: cnt@newstimesonline.com
  • 4272 Washington Rd, Suite 3B, Evans, Ga. 30809

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES