Juveniles Charged in Parkview Arson

Arrests have been made for vandalism and arson that happened Friday at Parkview Elementary School in Meridian.

Charred books, desks and office materials were still strewn on the property Monday.

At least two juveniles have been taken into custody, and investigators say more arrests are expected.

"We are already in the process of contacting their parents to have the juveniles brought in," said Capt. James Sharpe of the Meridian Police Department. "So, I do expect more arrests in this."

Sharpe the two currently in custody are ages 11 and 13. He says both attended either Parkview or nearby Magnolia Middle School. He said the other suspects range between the ages of 9 and 14, and attend or have attended one of the two schools.

The fire Friday was the last of a string of vandalism at Parkview. Within the seven days leading up to the fire, Parkview and Magnolia had been vandalized or burglarized at least four times.

According to investigators, at this point, it does not appear that the vandalism or burglaries were gang-related.

"In their words, they were just being stupid," said Sharpe. "They had nothing else to do and that's why they decided to do this."

Investigators say the Parkview damage is estimated to be well over $50,000. With all of the vandalism at the two schools thought to be related, officers say the suspects will likely face charges for felony vandalism, burglary and arson. Their cases will be handled in youth court.

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  • by Right On! Location: Meridian on Jun 18, 2009 at 10:33 AM
    You said it Disgusted!! People need to take personal responsibility for themselves, their children, and their financial situations. It's amazing what direct correlations can be found between juvenile delinquents and their parents'/guardians' "ride the system" attitudes. Want some change in our city? Get rid of the welfare "gimme" attitude and make people WORK! And don't give me the BS of there aren't any jobs. How about go get a GRANT (they give them away to the underprivileged all the time) and go to college?! Some CHOOSE to sit on their rumps and collect a check- all the while bemoaning the crime, etc in their areas. Parents should teach their children to respect authority- be it teachers, police officers, or adults in general. Most of the discipline problems are because the kids know there are no consequences for their actions. As for the arson- where were these kids' parents?! MAYBE they were working, but don't they have relatives that could watch the kids?! That's what I do...
  • by Disgusted on Jun 18, 2009 at 06:19 AM
    Everyone who is screaming about police protection, staking out the schools, picking up kids for curfew violations, etc. needs to DEMAND from our city leaders MORE police. Instead of spending millions for fru-fru projects, put that money into police resources and manpower, and pay them like your life depends on it! Same for teachers! These are two of the lowest-paid professions, and they are shaping the minds of our future leaders and protecting our lives and property. Teachers being mean? Whatever!! They aren't allowed to discipline these little punks because their sitting-at-home-getting-a-check parent will sue the school system to try and get MORE free money. Untie the hands of our teachers and police and let them do their jobs!!
  • by bb Location: mdn on Jun 17, 2009 at 07:37 PM
    You should know the parents will not ever to be able to pay $50,000. Neither will the kids, Taxpayers pay... and then they will pay even more cause more trouble will follow until the parents are held to the strictest accountability. If your kid gets picked up for Curfew you are fined... I see kids out all of the time why not pick them up..
  • by Anonymous on Jun 17, 2009 at 06:25 AM
    With repeated incidents why was not someone there watching trying to catch.... If someone broke into my house twice in a week I would be waiting for them the third time...WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SCHOOL SECURITY... POLICE COULD HAVE STAKED OUT THE SCHOOL..
  • by Anonymous on Jun 17, 2009 at 06:23 AM
  • by concerned Location: meridian on Jun 16, 2009 at 10:02 PM
    JC in Hattiesburg, I agree that we need to start holding parents responsible for their children's actions. I think if there was a very large fine charged to the parent when children are habitual behavior problems in school or out we would see some parents get to work on trying to raise their children. If they had to go to juvenile the fee would be even larger and they would have to do community service. Instead parents don't know what their children are doing they are working 2-3 small jobs at minimum wage so they can buy their children cell phones that they have in school which I thought were against the school policy anyway for them to have but, they all have them concealed so they can text their friends across the room, call their mama when they don't want to stay at school or call because they think the teacher is being mean to them when they ask them to do a little classwork instead of talking and disrupting the class. My children have said they feel sorry for teachers.
  • by Concerned about safety Location: Meridian on Jun 16, 2009 at 09:06 PM
    I'm very concerned about our safety in all communities in Meridian. It is time for neighborhoods to work together and develop neighborhood watches. Teenagers are driving or walking into areas they do not live in and appear not to be visiting anyone in the area. WTOK's opening line at 10:00 "Parents do You know where your children are?" needs to be of great concern to parents if their children are not at home by this time. Nothing is open and they do not need to be out walking the streets. It's time to set some boundaries for children. Respect for others property should be taught at home this includes walking through other people's property day or night. I'm tired of hearing chldren say there is nothing in this town to do. When I was growing up in a smaller town where there was nothing to do at all- you were in the house no later than 6. There was supper, clean up, family tv, practice your piano or guitar, homework, read a good book, help dad or mom with chores and bedtime. Fri/Sat 10.
  • by Anonymous Location: meridian on Jun 16, 2009 at 04:15 PM
    yes parents do know where there are but it is the same blacks are not looking after their kids when they do wrong,but what about the white kids breaking in houses did they parents know where they where, it is all bad when blacks do something but mommy and the police cover up what white kids do because who; their parents are lets talk about that
  • by Stacy Location: Lauderdale on Jun 16, 2009 at 03:43 PM
    Its going to get worse, if these thugs are brought under control. Its not the teachers or administration. Its parents fault because they don't discipline them. Its the judicial system because they don't make these thugs pay enough. Make them get up every morning and work everyday. There is enough trash on the roads they could stay busy. Lock them up at night.
  • by anonymous Location: meridian on Jun 16, 2009 at 02:49 PM
    the question is parents do you really know where your children are in the black community. We all need to stand together as one to teach our children better home training. This should be an example to their classmates of what will happen when you abuse the law
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