Battery Creek High students charged with setting off stink bombs

sbowman@beaufortgazette.comJanuary 28, 2014 

STOCK

Two Battery Creek High School students were arrested Friday after allegedly setting off stink bombs at the school Thursday.

The female students were charged with disturbing schools, a misdemeanor that typically carries a fine of up to $1,000 or up to 90 days in jail or both, according to Daniel Brownstein, spokesman for the 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office.

One of the students was 18 years old, and the other was a younger sibling, Beaufort County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Sgt. Robin McIntosh said Tuesday.

On Thursday during third period -- which runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and includes lunch -- the students each set off a stink bomb in two separate classrooms, superintendent Jeffrey Moss said Tuesday.

Another stink bomb also was detonated in the cafeteria, according to the incident report released Tuesday, but it has not been determined who set it off.

"Both incidents caused a major disruption in the classroom and in the school," Moss said.

He refused to give further information on what the disruption entailed. School principal Edmond Burnes also refused to comment on the incident.

According to the Sheriff's Office report, the students and teacher in one of the classrooms had to move to another room because of the smell. The teacher in the other classroom said the incident delayed her lesson by about 15 minutes.

The school resource officer investigated the incidents and identified the suspects after speaking with several witnesses. Several students saw the suspects handle the "foil packages" that popped and released "horrible smells," the report said.

Moss said he could not discuss any disciplinary action taken against the students.

According to the district's Student Discipline Code of Conduct, planning, organizing, instigating or participating in an activity that "causes substantial disruption to the educational program" is punishable by a four-day, out-of-school suspension for the first offense.

"Detonating fireworks, incendiary devices, smoke and/or stink bombs or other noxious gas devices" is a level-three offense punishable by a suspension of up to eight days and a possible recommendation for expulsion, the code also says.

For both offenses, the code says law enforcement can be contacted and charges filed. McIntosh said that in general, disturbing schools is a fairly common charge.

The 18-year-old student was held at the Beaufort County Detention Center overnight Friday and released on her own recognizance at 11 a.m. Saturday. She likely was held overnight because she was booked at 4:30 p.m., after the afternoon bond session, Brownstein said.

Attempts Monday to reach the 18-year-old were unsuccessful.

The younger sibling was released to her father because she is a juvenile, McIntosh said. In the report, the father said they were getting a lawyer and declined to give a statement.

A Family Court date has been set for 3:30 p.m. March 4.

Follow reporter Sarah Bowman at twitter.com/IPBG_Sarah.

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