CHS Panel Lobbies for Accused Students

A student committee is attempting to convince the school board to permit the accused attackers, who were recently expelled from CHS, to reaccept them to CHS. They believe that the students would be better off at CHS than at the alternative education program, where they have been transferred to. WINA has the story.

23 Responses to “CHS Panel Lobbies for Accused Students”


  • I’ve got to agree with this panel. These kids are innocent until proven guilty. No court has found them guilty of being a threat to their peers or in any way unable to safely function in their schools. Forcing them out of CHS was an inappropriate decision that ought to be rectified as soon as possible.

  • I disagree. These attacks were vicious and they admitted their guilt. Surely they should be puunished in some way. I doubt very much that they regret their actions only because they got caught, not because of the pain inflicted on the victims.

  • I disagree. These attacks were vicious and they admitted their guilt.

    But we still try people when they admit guilt, rather than execute them on the spot, don’t we?

  • The public school system is neither the criminal justice system nor the everyday world. The doubts that we resolve in favor of the accused are and should be resolved in favor of the system where there are heightened concerns for systematic functioning and where alternatives exist (i.e. other schooling venues).

  • Question: Would allowing the accused students to come back to CHS be a distraction to the other students? Already CHS has been putting out information that this is an aberration. Some students feel that the accused are being unfairly treated (as well as their supporters).

    Now, how are students in the school system treated for felony charges? Lower charges? Is there a policy in place for students charged (with varying degrees of seriousness). If so, are these students being punished in accordance with policies? More harshly or less harshly?

    I would like to know the answers to these questions rather than hearing “unfair” or “hell, no, not harsh enough.”

    I think that the reason for the CHS committee supporters are trying to get them back in school is that probably many (if not most) are seniors and not enjoying their senior year. The facts of the matter are these students who are charged will probably not serve much time if convicted (assuming no prior arrests). I say that only because if you examine other cases of juvenile arrests, I bet few actually serve any real time.

  • I don’t know what you just said. Could you restate that in plain English?

  • I don’t know what you just said. Could you restate that in plain English?

  • But we still try people when they admit guilt, rather than execute them on the spot, don’t we?

    Only in an actual court of law. In a school setting, there’s nothing prohibiting the administration from executing a student on the spot.

  • By JAKE MOONEY

    Daily Progress staff writer

    Concerned with its image, a Charlottesville community group formed to deal with racial issues following a series of attacks on college students passed a resolution Sunday night decrying “all violence against any member of the community.”

    The unanimous voice vote approving the statement came near the end of a meeting at Mt. Zion Baptist Church that had a tense beginning, when the 25 or so attendees voted to remove two members of a white-rights group who had traveled from Richmond.

    “I think it’s a highly racist organization that has no business in this meeting,” said M. Rick Turner, the dean of the Office of African-American Affairs at the University of Virginia and a participant in the meeting.

    Turner also called the men, Ron Doggett and Walter Green, “nothing more than racist agitators.” Doggett is head of the Virginia branch of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, a white civil-rights group led by ex-Ku Klux Klansman David Duke.

    On his way out the door of the church’s basement, Doggett countered, “This is typical of what we’ve experienced in this community by certain city leaders and by certain community groups. There’s no bias in this community? I don’t think so.”

    The Rev. Alvin Edwards, the church’s pastor and the moderator of Sunday’s discussion, said he had not realized who the men were when, earlier in the day, he told them they could attend. When he found out, he said, he told them the matter would be put to a vote.

    The group has lobbied — unsuccessfully so far — for an FBI probe of a string of attacks on college students near the University of Virginia in recent months, alleging civil rights violations and calling for the nine black youths charged in the assaults to be prosecuted under hate-crimes laws.

    Police said early in the investigation that three of the youths told authorities they targeted white people.

    At least one participant Sunday said she wished the pair from the white-rights group had been allowed to stay.

    “If we’re talking about race, we’re not really going to deal with the issue until we deal with that segment of the community that they represent,” attendee Shawn Harris said.

    “I think that there’s a certain level or racism that exists in this community whether EURO is here or not. … From the time that Jefferson came and put that plantation up on the hill, these things have existed.”

    The meeting Sunday was largely uneventful after the two men left, with much of the discussion focusing on procedural matters.

    In a separate vote, the attendees — including local parents, representatives from UVa and the city schools and, at various times, four city council members — decided that a reporter could stay.

    Midway through the meeting, attention turned to the victims of the attacks, who the group decided to refer to henceforth as “survivors.”

    Participants raised concerns about the view — inaccurate, they said — that they have focused too strongly on helping the accused instead of the victims.

    “I think it’s important for UVa students who have been attacked, or who fear they might be attacked in the future, for them to hear that this is not something that we want to have happen either,” city Councilor Meredith Richards said.

    Before the group passed its statement condemning all violence, members voted to instruct city spokesman Maurice Jones to compose an open letter to the victims, expressing concern and clarifying the purpose of the community groups that have sprung up in the months after the assaults.

    In another development, a similar committee focused on supporting those charged in the assaults has decided to split the money it raises between the accused and the victims, with 70 percent going to the accused, said Gail Hyder Wiley, a member of Sunday’s panel.

    The money was originally intended for a legal defense fund for those charged.

  • Your bumbling phraseology is confusing. Please help us understand.

  • “Before the group passed its statement condemning all violence…”

    How refreshing that this group is opposed to violence. Did they really need to have a meeting to come to this conclusion? Was the vote unanimous?

    On another note, how sad it is that they voted out two people who do not agree with their stance to support the accused more than the victims.

    They do not truly want an open discussion, and to purport otherwise is hypocritical and dishonest.

    –jd

  • They do not truly want an open discussion, and to purport otherwise is hypocritical and dishonest.

    Evidently the irony of criticizing someone for not being open to other opinions and then dismissing anyone who disagrees is lost on you.

  • From “jd”: . . . On another note, how sad it is that they voted out two people who do not agree with their stance to support the accused more than the victims.

    They do not truly want an open discussion, and to purport otherwise is hypocritical and dishonest.

    Do you really want to plumb the depth of this hypocrisy? Check this out:

    From the Daily Progress (3/11/02):”The unanimous voice vote approving the statement came near the end of a meeting at Mt. Zion Baptist Church that had a tense beginning, when the 25 or so attendees voted to remove two members of a white-rights group who had traveled from Richmond. “I think it’s a highly racist organization that has no business in this meeting,” said M. Rick Turner, the dean of the Office of African-American Affairs at the University of Virginia and a participant in the meeting.

    But when the shoe is on the other foot . . .

    Cavalier Daily (11/12/97:) “When I go to meetings I want people to see my black face and know I represent African Americans,” [African-American Affairs Dean M. Rick] Turner said.

  • I’d have to disagree with you Waldo. These kids have admitted their guilt, and their reasoning behind the attacks.

    If I had such a group in my house, I wouldn’t wait for some legal process to kick their little behinds right out. I’ve got the safety of my own kids to think about, and they represent a demonstrated danger to that safety.

    CHS is doing the same on behalf of the parents of all the other kids who are potential victims.

    Actions have consequences, and when you’re beating someone up because they’re different than you, the consequences that you receive won’t be happy-fun consequences. Instead, the consequence will be that those around you are going to take steps to protect themselves from you. Don’t like that? Then don’t beat the crap out of people.

    I have exactly zero sympathy for the attackers. They put themselves in this position.

  • And from Meredith Richards:

    “I think it’s important for UVa students who have been attacked, or who fear they might be attacked in the future, for them to hear that this is not something that we want to have happen either.”

    Phew, that’s a relief. And here I thought that City Council was actively hoping for UVa students to be attacked. I guess they’re not so bad after all.

  • The standards we set for the criminal justice system serve a specific role there, and we have to be careful that just because the behavior behing considered is similar to behavior considered by the criminal justice system that we do not accidentally import all of the deliberative mechanic into the school system. The school system has very different aims (mainly a protected education for youth) that the criminal justice system (eradication of crime and the application of social justice, in at least some manner).

    If that doesn’t clear things up, I must rely on my trump: she works with horses!

  • I might agree except for one thing: premediation

    If these acts had been one-time or spontanous, maybe. These were smart kids who knew what they were doing. Doesn’t that make it worse?

  • Waldo,

    Your most recent post on this is quite a contrast to your first post, the one titled “Yay” in which you expressed relief that the perps had been caught. What’s happened?

    The alternative school was created so that kids who aren’t violent and disruptive could be protected from those who are and also so that the miscreants could continue to receive an education. The assailants admitted their guilt. They should be removed from the school and their supporters ought to be grateful that they have an opportunity to attend the alternative school.

  • Your most recent post on this is quite a contrast to your first post, the one titled “Yay” in which you expressed relief that the perps had been caught. What’s happened?

    I heartily disagree that it’s a contrast. I’m glad that suspects have been captured and charged, but I am keenly aware that they are merely suspects. At least one (perhaps as many as three, if memory serves) suspects have confessed their guilt, but that’s considerably less than all of them. It’s certainly possible that one or more of these kids have been wrongly accused. Regardless, they have been merely accused, and have not been found guilty of committing any crime, nor have they (to our knowledge) shown any history of being a danger to themselves or their peers.

    I find it encouraging to know that they’re still getting an education via the alternative school. To remove them from school entirely would be truly reprehensible, and I would be considerably more vocal in my protest if that were the case. But right now, some of these kids may very well be graduating this June with a diploma not from their high school, but from the “alternative school,” which I’ll warrant is particularly damning on a college application. They can plead innocence all they want, should they be found innocent by the courts, but that big red X on their educational transcripts will follow them around for the rest of their lives.

  • Double standard for sure

  • Double standard for sure

  • Waldo,

    I suspect (and please correct me if I’m wrong) that probably they will get a diploma from the City of Charlottesville Public School System. I have to say that in my life, no one has ever asked to see my diploma and I think your reasoning might be wrong. In any case, I don’t think it’s as crippling as you might think to their lives. What’s important is what they do afterwards — go to community college, a four year institution, technical school, start a business, etc. (This applies to those who are innocent and those who are guilty.) Sure, not getting a diploma with your buddies or spending your senior year with your buddies stinks. For those who are innocent of assault charges, it’s unfair but again, it’s what my mother nagged into me: choose your friends carefully.

    If innocent of actually assaulting, I would wonder if they knew what was going on and kept quiet. I think what troubles me about all of this is that it’s part of a symptomatology that no one should suffer for his/her consequences (either legally or morally). It’s not a black or white thing necessarily — look at the plagarism case in Kansas where the parents got the school board to overturn their kids’ bad grades. No consequences.

    The only way I could agree with you is that if one kid was truly innocent (i.e., blamed by others for being there at the scene of the crime and wasn’t) and had no clue of what was going down with his friends, then this would be unfair. But I doubt that is happening.

    LG

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