Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

Attorney Sam Warns Students About Criminal Investigations After Lynn MA School Is Vandalized

September is a-coming. It would appear that it will soon be time, once again in Massachusetts, for those school-time hijinks like bullying, assault and vandalism.

And police investigations.

Well, it looks like some people just can’t wait. No, not a high school or college campus crime this time. The event took place at Julia F. Callahan Elementary School in Lynn this past weekend. Vandals trashed the school, dumping paint, spraying fire extinguishers, shattering glass, overturning desks and copiers, and spewing classroom materials throughout the building, according to Deputy Superintendent Jaye Warry and Lieutenant William Sharp of the Lynn Police Department.

The police describe that the “school was entered and extensively vandalized,” Superintendent Warry, who has worked in the Lynn school system for 25 years, said this break in was “up there on the extent of damage.” She went on to say that the vandalism affected most of the two-story building and that the principal’s office was destroyed.

“The man hours needed to clean up will be extensive,” Warry said. Warry said
there are about five or six break-ins a year, but there is usually only a small amount of material thrown around.

“We have a lot of work to do in the school system, and this type of [incident] really sets us back,” she said.

Although the damage was extensive, Warry said she is confident everything will be cleaned up before school starts September 6th.

The incident remains under investigation.

Attorney Sam’s Take:

Today’s blog is, in effect, a reminder. An important one.

First of all, whether we be talking high school campus, elementary school or college, students are not immune to criminal prosecution.

Gone are the days of, “Well, he’s a good boy…and boys will be boys…” Rambunctiousness often leads to allegations of criminal action.

No matter what age…if you think it is funny to touch somewhere in any of the areas we call “private parts”, expect an allegation of indecent assault and battery. You try to strong-arm or even annoy another kid, expect claims of bullying. Spray paint on the wall or do some damage? Malicious destruction of property.

We’ve addressed the bullying issue many times this past year and the schools are gearing up for the attempted implemented anti-bullying statute. The safest way to implement said statute will be to take no chances. In other words, in a close call, expect severe action.

Nobody looks good when a suspect is not found and punished. This has long been true for the police, but it will now also be true for schools. I expect you will see most schools engaging in police-like behavior because they now have the new responsibility of covering their own behinds in trying to combat a problem (bullying) which is not going to go away so easily…if it ever will.

“But Sam, my kids and I are peace-lovers. We would not harass a flee. We would not even litter!”

Maybe. But if the school and/or police conclude otherwise…you are the only one who will believe that. Sometimes the need for a quick defendant results in the innocent being accused and punishment.

Often, that is when people like me come in. But I advise you not to wait until you or your child is standing before the being in the black robes. If you have reason to believe that an investigation is occurring which could bring allegations against yourself or your loved one, do not hesitate. Confer with an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you have just come home from court, after hearing the allegations read out in court…you should have done so yesterday.

But, better late than never!
Should you wish to consult with me in a free initial consultation, please feel free to give me a call at 617-492-3000 .

To view the original story upon which today’s blog was based, please go to http://mobile.boston.com/art/30/news/education/k_12/articles/2010/08/24/vandals_strike_school_in_lynn/

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