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Two teens delinquent in bomb threats

June 09, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

Two juveniles accused in recent bomb threats at their schools were found delinquent Wednesday in Washington County Juvenile Court.

A 14-year-old Boonsboro High School freshman, who admitted to a charge of willfully disrupting activities at school, was sent to the child and adolescent unit at the Thomas B. Finan Center in Cumberland for evaluation during the next 30 days.

The teenager was charged May 5 after making a threat and speaking of forming a "raincoat mafia" at the school. He told a teacher he was going to bring a package to school after seeing a story in the local newspaper about a package found earlier that week at Boonsboro.

While the teenager has no prior incidents in his background, Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Mark Wolfe said the boy had written a poem that was of concern to the state.

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Judge John H. McDowell read aloud a portion of the poem titled "Hell."

"I like Hell, I am Hell, I see dead bodies, I really want to die, people will die," were a few of the excerpts read in court Wednesday.

A pupil personnel worker said the boy's school file was filled with examples of discipline problems and serious concerns about possible drug use. For instance, information in the file says he fell asleep in class and came to class with red-rimmed eyes.

She also told of a teacher's report that the boy sat in class and pierced his eyebrow with a safety pin.

"I can't understand why children who are disruptive are allowed to remain in school," McDowell said after hearing the reports.

Paul Wolverton, a school psychologist, said the law requires the least restrictive atmosphere possible for all children of public school age.

The Boonsboro youth expressed a desire to return home but McDowell said he didn't think he should be on the streets.

The other 14-year-old was returned to his Hancock home under strict community detention rules pending his disposition.

That teenager was found delinquent for threatening to blow up a school bus after he was disciplined by the bus driver on April 30 on the ride from Hancock to the Alternative School.

The bus driver testified she picked the boy up at 8:15 a.m. that day at Hancock High School and drove him and others to Hagerstown.

She said he was giving her a particularly hard time that day, hitting another student with his keys.

When the bus made its first stop at the Career Studies Center, the bus driver made the boy give her the keys. He gave them to her grudgingly, she said.

Arriving at the Alternative School, which is at South Hagerstown High School, the boy and the bus driver headed into the school and it was then he said he was going to blow up the bus.

She told school officials there what he said and the police were called.

McDowell found the Hancock youth to have willfully disturbed school activities by making the threat. His disposition will also be in about 30 days.

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