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Greenbrier prank might hurt college plans

Posted: June 1, 2012 - 4:23pm  |  Updated: June 1, 2012 - 6:55pm
Four Greenbrier High School seniors were charged with second-degree criminal trespass, a felony, on May 11 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 May 11 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 @DonnieFetter

Just one of four Greenbrier High students accused of squirting super glue into numerous door locks at the school thus far has paid restitution for the damages.

For the other teens, failure to pay their share of the at least $5,000 cost to replace the locks might hurt their chances for starting college in the fall.

“I’m assuming it will (hurt their chances),” Columbia County schools Superintendent Charles Nagle said of the girls starting college in the fall quarter. “That’s why I’m assuming they’re going to pay us.”

Columbia County authorities arrested the seniors – Brooklyn Leigh Bella, 17; Elizabeth Sutton Metz, 17; Dynisha Antoinette Clemons, 17; and Kristin Arey Tannehill, 18 – on felony charges of second-degree criminal damage to property following discovery of the vandalism by school officials on May 11. A week later, the sheriff’s office also arrested a 15-year-old boy on the same charge for the same incident.

District Attorney Ashley Wright said Friday in an email that her office now has the complete case file from the sheriff's office and will be working on a presentation to the grand jury.

As punishment, the girls were suspended the final week of school and banned from attending their own graduation ceremony.

School officials also are withholding their diplomas and refuse to release their second-semester grades until they pay for the damages.

“We talk to students all the time while recruiting, trying to impress upon them that getting that (college) acceptance letter is not the end of the story and that they need to be mindful that grades and conduct during the end of the senior year and the summer before starting college really do matter,” said Augusta State University Director of Admissions Katherine Sweeney in an email.

“An acceptance can be rescinded if the circumstances warrant such.”

At ASU, Sweeney said provisional acceptance letters are sent to applicants based on their student transcripts through the first semester of their senior years. But the entire transcript eventually is needed.

“If the high school indicates that they cannot provide the transcript and indicates that the reason is because there is a pending debt owed to the high school, we would place a hold on the student record that would prevent registration until we receive the required documents,” Sweeney said.

Sweeney stressed, though, that the policy of other universities might vary from those used at Augusta State.

Due to the need for tuition payments, Greenbrier Principal Chris Segraves said he believes many colleges might still admit the girls.

“I’m sure something can be worked out to not keep them from attending college in the fall,” he said. “We don’t want to keep them from furthering their education.”

However, Nagle said a parent recently contacted the school system about paying one girl’s share of the damages to free up her grades for college.

In a phone interview Wednesday, Segraves said none of the girls had paid restitution. On Friday, though, Segraves said in an email that one family did pay, but he didn’t say who or when.

 

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Comments (6)

Riverman1

It's hard to keep things

It's hard to keep things straight when I have multiple names due to differences of opinions with the Chronicle and I hate to slam Barry's paper because he allows me to post under Riverman, but there are indepth comments on the Chronicle about this matter. I feel this article was unnecessary, actually a scare tactic, and the kids' families may very well be ready to pay once everything is sorted out. It hasn't been that long. This story is out of line.

Little Lamb

Puzzled Again

I wonder why the reporter gives Dr. Nagle's angle with no corresponding comment from the young women's lawyers? Nagle is squeezing these women with the loss of college admission by insisting on paying up restitution.

What if you were the lawyer defending one of these women from felony prosecution? You must wait for the District Attorney to convene a grand jury and gain a felony indictment. So many cases lie before yours. It might be October, it might be January before your case comes up.

Your client has but one bargaining chip to offer: Your Honor, my client agrees to plead guilty to a misdemeanor in return for full restitution for the damage and a full apology.

But if Dr. Nagle gets restitution for the diploma and the grade points, there is no bargaining chip for the misdemeanor charge. The felony indictment stands.

Something does not seem right here, to me.

raul

@Riverman. Are you banned for

@Riverman. Are you banned for life from the AC or serving a short term sentence?

bus driver

little lamb

that is the way the board works it does not matter what it is about. Nobody is ever able to ask questions of Mr. Nagle or the board.

Craig Spinks

(L)ittle lamb,

Reach Mr. Nagle at cnagle@ccboe.net and Mrs. Buccafusco at jbuccafusco1@comcast.net.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

Riverman1

Raul, you would think I Super

Raul, you would think I Super Glued the Chronicle comments to the monitor or something.

But to this subject, it's starting to be two different systems, the educational one and the judicial, trying to impose their own punishments. As I said, let things be sorted out before jumping to conclusions about payment. Nagle has turned this over to the Sheriff and DA and they are the ones running things now. First we determine guilt in court, then we consider punishment and payments.

I'm sure restitution will be part of the punishment. For Nagle to use a threat of negative information being given to colleges is out of line when absolutely nothing has been determined legally. If the girls, Nagle and DA all meet before the trial or whatever legal proceeding transpires, he can offer his input. He can't just make up his own law.

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