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Explosives could mean expulsion for teens

December 03, 1997

Explosives could mean expulsion for teens

By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Staff Writer, Waynesboro

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Two Greencastle/Antrim High School students are facing expulsion from school for bringing a homemade explosive device to school, Principal Jack Appleby said Wednesday.

One of the boys made the device to sell to the other, officials said.

The students, both 14 and in ninth grade, will be referred to Franklin County juvenile authorities on charges of possession of a weapon on school property for disposition, said Greencastle Police Chief Terry Sanders.

Meanwhile, they were in custody of school officials and their parents, Sanders said. Both were placed on 10-day suspension.

The youths appeared before a school board committee with their parents Wednesday morning, Appleby said. "The committee will make a recommendation and the board will decide at its meeting Tuesday night whether they will be expelled," he said.

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Appleby said neither student has been in trouble before the device was found and confiscated by an alert teacher in her class on Nov. 24.

Appleby said the device was a carbon dioxide cylinder like those used to charge gas-powered pellet guns. The end was removed, the cylinder filled with gunpowder and a three-inch fuse attached, he said.

According to police, the students had spoken about a week earlier and decided one would make the device for the other.

Appleby said the device was capable of causing severe injury. He said he didn't know what it was going to be used for.

"There was no motive or anything malicious. It was more curiosity. They just didn't use common sense," he said.

"Pennsylvania's law banning weapons in school is ironclad," Appleby said. If the students are expelled, the school district will have to make other arrangements for their education.

"These are some of the things we're grappling with now," he said.

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