Dawson-Bryant student sets toilet paper on fire; charged with arson

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 9, 2002


17 year old girl will appear in Lawrence County Juvenile Court early next week to answer a charge that she tried to set fire to a Dawson-Bryant High School restroom Monday afternoon.

Coal Grove Police Department patrolman Jason Bloomfield said the student was charged with arson after she tried to burn a tissue holder and toilet paper.

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Dawson-Bryant principal Brenda Haas said the incident happened just after lunchtime. Another student was in the restroom and smelled smoke. Thinking the smoke came from a cigarette, the other student alerted a staff member, who went into the restroom and stopped the student immediately.

&uot;Kids here are pretty good about watching for vandalism,&uot; Haas said. &uot;We expect our school to stay nice. We appreciate the alertness of the other student. We also appreciate how quickly the police responded to the call and how they handled the situation.&uot;

Haas said since the matter was handled quickly, the bathroom did not sustain any damage.

Bloomfield said the girl was a foster child who had recently transferred in from Montgomery County. She had been in trouble there as well. The girl was taken to the Lawrence County Group Home after the incident.

Bloomfield said at first, the girl denied the incident and blamed someone else. School officials investigated and determined the person she blamed was in class at the time of the incident, and could not have been involved. The girl then admitted she was the one who tried to set the fire.

Asked why she tried to set the fire, the student told Bloomfield she was &uot;looking for something to do before class.&uot;

&uot;I asked her, haven’t you heard of reading and studying?&uot; Bloomfield said. &uot;Kids should understand that the things they do at school not only affect themselves but everyone around them. She put other kids’ lives at risk for no reason. She’s 17. She’s old enough to know better.&uot; Teresa Moore/The Ironton Tribune