Cumberland Times-News

June 11, 2013

Board didn’t take actions of accused juveniles seriously

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— This letter is in reference to the article that appeared in the Times-News on May 22, “Five charged in break-in at former Sacred Heart Hospital” (Page 1B).

The article said that two adults and three juveniles were charged by the C3I unit with breaking and entering into the former Sacred Heart Complex.

The suspects are being charged with one count each of second-degree burglary, theft and destruction of property. The owners of the property are identified as the Allegany County Board of Education.

I was the guardian of one of the juvenile suspects. We were called to appear at the Allegany County Board of Education on May 22, regarding the continued attendance and anticipated graduation from Allegany High School.

At the meeting the representatives did not take the charges seriously.

They were very lax and one representative even asked, “How was it walking through the old hospital? Were the beds still there? I always wanted to do that.” Now how would you expect a child/teenager to respond to that?

My student did not think that what he did was a” big deal” anyway. And now the school board enforced this behavior.

This criminal activity has not even come to fruition with the police department or department of juvenile justice.

This brothers me because I am also the mother of two children ages 8 and 10 who are very impressionable as are all younger siblings.

The lax attitude by the board of education representatives is disheartening. I try to teach the children to respect other people’s property. How can anyone teach their children to respect school property if the board of education makes light of second degree burglary, theft and destruction of property?

I am afraid that this experience has left me with an unsettling feeling that these boys will walk away from this with no remorse and with the possibility that maybe next time their actions may have terrible consequences for someone.

What kind of impression is the board of education providing for the children of Cumberland?

Shirley A. King

Cumberland