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Jefferson High student admits to flooding classrooms

June 03, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. -- School officials have identified the student who was responsible for the flooding of four classrooms at Jefferson High School's ninth-grade complex last Friday morning, an official said Monday.

The student at the complex admitted to his role in the incident and a principal suspended the boy for 10 days, according to Pete Dougherty, president of the Jefferson County Board of Education.

Jefferson County Superintendent of Schools Susan Wall will have a hearing with the board of education to discuss other action that could be taken against the boy, Dougherty said.

The classrooms were flooded after a fire sprinkler was vandalized, officials said.

At least two computers in one of the classrooms were damaged by the water, as were ceiling tiles, according to Independent Fire Co. Chief Ed Smith.

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School officials have said they will have to replace the sprinkler head and pay to have the fire suppression system recharged.

About 200 gallons of water were vacuumed from the floors, Smith said.

Dougherty declined to say how the sprinkler system was set off, although he said it appeared to be a deliberate destruction of property, rather than a prank.

Dougherty said he did not know if any criminal charges will be sought in the incident, which prompted early dismissal of classes at the Shenandoah Junction, W.Va., school.

Dougherty said it appears no substantial damage was done to the school.

The vandalism comes a month after Hedgesville (W.Va.) High School students flattened 110 tires on 85 school buses and punctured tires on two other vehicles at the Berkeley County Schools Department of Transportation headquarters and maintenance garage April 30.

Four Hedgesville High students face charges, and one will be prosecuted as an adult, officials have said.

On March 30, authorities said 15 students at Jefferson High School's complex for 10th- to 12th-graders broke into the school and dragged hundreds of desks into hallways, hid more than two dozen telephones and wrote inappropriate comments in Spanish on a chalkboard.

The students involved were charged, six as adults.

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