While it is always difficult when a teenager faces misdemeanor criminal charges in South Carolina, it can complicate matters even further when the adolescent is the child of officials within the community. Fairly or unfairly, the community holds the child to a higher standard because of who his or her parents are. The same principle holds true in North Carolina, where the 18-year-old son of a school district chairman recently became one of five individuals charged with vandalism of the local high school.
A statement from a school spokesperson describes vandalism on both the exterior and interior of the 98-year-old building. The former includes a courtyard strewn with toilet paper, while the latter includes spray paint on interior doors, vegetable oil spread on historic hardwood floors and super-glue in door locks. The estimated cost to correct the damage is $7,300.
The five individuals arrested in connection with the incident face charges including misdemeanor conspiracy, breaking and entering, concealment of goods and aiding and abetting shoplifting. However, the charges they face regarding an injury to a building represent a felony. The five are due in court next week and each received a $5,000 bond. Four of them are 18 years of age, while the fifth is 20 years old. It is not clear whether they are former students, current students or recent graduates.
Initially, school officials described the vandalism as a senior prank that went too far, but though it may seem like harmless fun in the moment, authorities may have an increasingly low tolerance for these types of activities. Parents of adolescents facing misdemeanor charges related to vandalism or similarly inadvisable acts may wish to contact an attorney.