High school students arrested for what sheriff says are more than just pranks

High school students arrested for what sheriff says are more than just pranks

LAFOURCHE PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Three high school students are facing criminal charges and possible expulsion following separate incidents at two schools in Lafourche Parish.  Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre and Schools Superintendent Jo Ann Matthews says the three students were charged in separate incidents at that happened in the last two weeks.

Two of the teenagers are facing charges for damaging computers at Central Lafourche High School.  Earlier this month, deputies opened an investigation after learning a large number of computers had been damaged over the course of nearly two months. The total damages amounted to around $5,000. Through investigation, deputies learned two male students had inserted metal objects into USB ports on the computers to intentionally damage them. Both students admitted to damaging 10 computers each, and they were charged with Simple Criminal Damage to Property.

In a separate incident, a student is being charged for falsely sounding a fire alarm at South Lafourche High school on March 26th, which forced the complete evacuation of the school.   Following an investigation into the incident, officials determined no fire was present and that a male student had falsely sounded the alarm. The juvenile was charged with Criminal Mischief in the incident.

"Students need to understand there are serious consequences for criminal behavior at school," said Sheriff Webre. "Not only is taxpayer money being wasted in cases such as these, but in the case of a false fire alarm, emergency services rush to scene resulting in these responders being tied up if a real emergency occurs elsewhere."

"Destroying school property and activating false alarms should not be considered pranks or jokes," added Sheriff Webre. "These are crimes, and violators will face criminal charges."

In addition to criminal charges, students would also face disciplinary action from school officials.

"We will consider the circumstances of each instance, but we have expelled students in the past for sounding a false alarm, for example," said Superintendent Matthews. "We have zero tolerance for this sort of mischievous behavior which creates panic and wastes valuable resources."

Sheriff Webre and Superintendent Matthews urge parents to talk with their children to help them understand the serious consequences of criminal behavior, especially at school. Parents should especially ensure children know that sounding a false fire alarm is not a joke, and could result in criminal charges and expulsion.

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