School security officers, administrators, and police acted swiftly on Monday at the Charlotte Amalie High School on St. Thomas after a student reported an alleged on-campus robbery. A fellow student was held by authorities and charged with assault and grand larceny.
The accused, described as an 18-year-old adult student, appeared at a hearing before Superior Court Magistrate Simone Van Holten-Turnbull on Wednesday. Although the defendant is viewed as an adult by law, the Source will not identify them in order to protect the alleged victim, described as a minor.
A forensic officer from the Virgin Islands Police Department traveled to CAHS to photo-document the items. The neck chain was valued by the victim and the parent at $2,300. At that time, the value of the bracelet was undetermined.
Court documents say the victim’s mother was summoned to the school to identify stolen property recovered by school administrators. Recovered items included an 18-inch chain and a 14-inch bracelet, both made of 14-karat gold.
Van Holten found probable cause to uphold charges of third-degree robbery, first-degree assault, and grand larceny. A second grand larceny charge was added at the Wednesday hearing.
Under the Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 14, Title 1083, grand larceny generally applies to goods valued over $500.
The defendant was released on a $500 bond later in the day; an arraignment hearing was scheduled for September.
Education officials in the Virgin Islands have a longstanding dress code for students attending public school. “The purpose of the Student Dress Code and Uniform Guidelines is to promote school safety, improve discipline and enhance the learning environment …,” states the policy as set by the Virgin Islands Board of Education.
The policy also calls on parents to encourage their students to adhere to basic hygiene standards and to the dress code.
Jewelry appears on the prohibitions list but the rules read more like restrictions. “Jewelry shall be limited: One (1) watch, small pair of earrings no larger than a quarter or longer than one inch, and bracelet …”
Neck chains are not listed in the policy. “Of course, this is not allowed,” said Board of Education Chairman Kyza Callwood.
The board chairman urged vigilance on the part of parents and guardians over what their students are wearing to school. That can be difficult, Callwood said, given the early school schedules and the time many children leave home to get to class.
“In terms of parents allowing their children to wear excessive jewelry to school, the parents have to take responsibility for checking students’ bags before they leave home and make sure students adhere to the policy,” Callwood said.
Authorities said the recovered items were turned over to the robbery victim’s parent.