Many in our community would like to see the students pay a hefty price that would include an arrest record as well as restitution. At Evans’ Greenbriar High School, Elizabeth Metz, Dyneshia Clemons, Kristin Tannehill and Brooklyn Bella are accused of putting super glue into 43 exterior door locks causing, according to news reports, $4,000 damage. They have been charged with second-degree criminal damage to property, a felony. Up at Paulding High School in Dallas, 21 students have been arrested for spray painting, “Seniors 2012” on at least 100 locations, from cars and trucks to utility poles and intersections. They have been charged with criminal interference with government property.
As the 2010 school year came to a close, 16 seniors at Hawkinsville High School thought it cool to set chickens loose in the hallways along with 100 pounds of corn. They also set up a baby pool of water and packed sardines in the water fountains and air conditioners. They were charged with felony criminal trespass.
But what to do about our local pranksters armed with super glue? Should they carry an arrest record and suffer the full consequences of their actions which could include rejection of their admission into college and possible loss of scholarship? Many in this community, 73 percent, according to a non-scientific poll taken on NewsTalk Central, say yes.
While the teenagers must be punished, a more creative approach should be explored. We would suggest the joke be on them. Require, during school hours for the final week, the pranksters wear their caps and gowns as they do janitorial duties. However, come May 25, these students should be in their civvies and not allowed to march with their class during graduation nor should they receive their diplomas before full restitution is made. That would be a high school memory they would never forget — and neither would their classmates and those who would follow them.