Three area high school students charged in separate incidents
Three students were charged in separate incidents at Lafourche Parish high schools in the last two weeks.
Earlier this month, sheriff’s office deputies opened an investigation after learning a large number of computers had been damaged at Central Lafourche High School over the course of nearly two months. The total damages amounted to around $5,000.
Through investigation, deputies learned two male students had inserted metal objects into USB ports on the computers to intentionally damage them. Both students admitted to damaging 10 computers each. They were charged with simple criminal damage to property.
In a separate incident, a fire alarm sounded at around 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, March 26 at South Lafourche High School forcing a complete evacuation of the school. Through investigation, officials determined no fire was present and that a male student had falsely sounded the alarm. The juvenile was charged with criminal mischief in the incident.
"Students need to understand there are serious consequences for criminal behavior at school," said Sheriff Craig Webre. "Not only is taxpayer money being wasted in cases such as these, but in the case of a false fire alarm, emergency services rush to scene resulting in these responders being tied up if a real emergency occurs elsewhere."
"Destroying school property and activating false alarms should not be considered pranks or jokes," added Sheriff Webre. "These are crimes, and violators will face criminal charges."
In addition to criminal charges, students would also face disciplinary action from school officials.
"We will consider the circumstances of each instance, but we have expelled students in the past for sounding a false alarm, for example," said School Superintendent JoAnn Matthews. "We have zero tolerance for this sort of mischievous behavior which creates panic and wastes valuable resources."
Webre and Matthews urge parents to talk with their children to help them understand the serious consequences of criminal behavior, especially at school. Parents should especially ensure children know that sounding a false fire alarm is not a joke and could result in criminal charges and expulsion.
Posted on Tue, March 31, 2015
by The Lafourche Gazette