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Boys placed on detention, probation for vandalism

December 15, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD

Two 14-year-old Clear Spring boys admitted Wednesday in Washington County juvenile court that they threw paint - causing more than $20,000 worth of damage - on Clear Spring High School's track and bleachers in September.

Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, sitting in juvenile court, placed the boys, who already have been suspended from school for their actions, on 30 days of community detention and probation. Washington County Deputy State's Attorney Steven Kessell said his office is waiting on a final estimate of the damages to the school's track and bleachers, but - so far - it's about $21,000.

The boys admitted to malicious destruction of property worth more than $500. Each boy was ordered to perform community service. One boy already had written a letter of apology, but the other boy was ordered to write a letter of apology addressing the students of the school.

One of the boys, when given a chance to speak, told Beachley, "I'm sorry. It was a bad mistake."

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Beachley asked the boy, "Why'd you do this to your own school?"

"I don't know, your honor," the boy replied.

The second boy, when asked the same question, said, "There is no excuse, sir, for what we did."

Beachley said he recognizes that children and teenagers make bad judgments sometimes, but said that the cost of damage to the school elevated the delinquent act.

"Young people, from time to time, will do thoughtless, stupid things," Beachley said.

Kessell said a school custodian on Sept. 20 discovered "blue paint on numerous bleachers and over the entire circumference of the school's track." Kessell said that a few girls came forward shortly after the incident, saying that they overheard "the boys talking about the destruction of the track," which had happened over the weekend before its discovery.

Two gallons of blue latex paint - each punctured in the bottom - were recovered, he said. Along with the spattered paint, a profane message also was written in paint near the scoreboard.

Kessell said the two boys were spending the night with a friend that weekend and took the paint to the track.

He said neither of the boys have a prior juvenile record.

They now are attending Williamsport High School, but should return to Clear Spring High School at the beginning of the year, Kessell said.

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