Behavioral issues in schools are often dealt with internally but on occasions the criminal law is brought in.
This was the case at Lower Richland High School according to the Richland County Sheriff's Department when 11 students, ages 14-18, were arrested for allegedly planning a fight in a restroom, The State reported.
The State reported on how Abram Walker, 18, Davon Young, 17, and Shakimo Smith, 17, face charges of disturbing schools, according to Sheriff Leon Lott. He said Smith faces an additional charge of affray, relating to two or more people fighting in a public place.
The sheriff's department said eight more students, all of them minors, will also be charged.
Investigators say at 8 a.m. on Sep. 3 the 11 students gathered for a fight in a restroom at Lower Richland High. The incident was reported to have been disturbed by a teacher who saw what was going on.
The students ran from the area but were reportedly later identified by the school resource officer using video surveillance equipment.
It's unclear what internal action will be taken against these students. Richland 1 spokeswoman Karen York would not disclose to the media details regarding any possible disciplinary action the students may face. However, under the student discipline code, she said anyone charged with disturbing schools faces suspension and possible expulsion from school.
Investigators said Walker, Young and Smith are to be transported to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center while the eight minors were released to the custody of their parents pending a hearing in Family Court.
When criminal charges are brought against teens, the involvement of the criminal justice system can have a highly detrimental effect on a young person's life.
The Department of Juvenile Justice states the five most common juvenile offenses in South Carolina in 2011 were assault and battery, public disorderly conduct, disturbing schools, shoplifting and simple possession of marijuana.
The DJJ further processed a total of 18,114 cases, 3,179 of which resulted in detention and 14,935 of which were either dismissed or sent to a diversion program such as Pre-Trial Intervention or the Alcohol Education Program. About half of the offences - a total of 9,980 cases went to prosecution, with 4,542 individuals being placed on probation.
The stakes are high in the juvenile justice system where a conviction can lead to incarceration. It's important to hire an experienced South Carolina juvenile crime attorney, if your child has been charged with an offense. Call Masella Law at 803.748.9990.