Archive for Thursday, February 9, 2006

Wild Friday at BHS

February 9, 2006

Baldwin City police were busy Friday with three separate incidents involving Baldwin High School students.

First, there was an assault in the BHS cafeteria involving two teenage girls. Then it was reported that "dusting," the inhaling of compressed air was going on. Finally, after school, the third incident involving BHS students bothering elementary school aged children in FireTree Estates occurred.

Charges are possible in both the fight and the FireTree incident, according to Police Chief Mike McKenna. In the FireTree case, unlike in the past two incidents, a pattern has developed and charges are possible, he said.

"We had two grade school students get off the bus in FireTree," said McKenna. "Three Baldwin High School students drove by them and threw packs of candy at them. I talked to the District Attorney about the continued incidences of this and there will be additional discussions.

"Yes, they've done it before," he said of the repeat FireTree culprits. "Two of the young men have done it before."

All three are 15. The driver of the car has already been issued a citation for driver's license restriction infractions. He was only to drive to and from school. Also, McKenna said, the boys have been lulled into the idea that they're not doing anything wrong.

"Well, after talking to them in interviews, the boys seem to think it's a big joke. They didn't think they were doing anything wrong," he said. "They fail to see the seriousness of this. They think they are not breaking the law. Continued events like this can be considered harassment."

McKenna will also talk to the District Attorney regarding the fight at BHS.

"A 16-year-old girl assaulted a 14-year-old girl in the BHS cafeteria," he said. "The 16-year-old hit the 14-year-old numerous times. The students were separated and sent home.

"We will be discussing the case with the DA this week," said McKenna. "We didn't know about it until after the fact."

The mother of the 14-year-old, Patty Carpenter, was upset by the incident and had a meeting with district administrators Tuesday.

"I am infuriated," Carpenter said Monday. "I am just infuriated with (BHS principal) Mr. (Allen) Poplin. He wouldn't even let my daughter call me."

After the meeting Tuesday, she was still mad. She is concerned about the thousands of dollars a dentist told her it would take to fix her daughter's teeth and they still may be lost. She was also upset that she wasn't allowed to view the videotape of the altercation like the mother of the 16-year-old was.

"They would not let me see the tape," said Carpenter. "Mr. Poplin said it was a mistake letting the other mother see the tape. He said he wanted her to see it to see how violent her daughter was.

"That makes me think they're circling the wagons," she said. "I don't know what the answer is, but something needs to be done. I'm discouraged. There is so much going on up there that people don't understand."

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