by Locker Room contributor
Would you feel good about sending your kid to this school?
One of the 10 teens arrested during a fight at Smithfield-Selma High School last week is a convicted felon who attended the school despite his criminal record.
Roger Watson, 18, is well known by Smithfield police officers. Police picked him up in August during a raid of street-level cocaine dealers. He pleaded guilty to selling cocaine, a felony, in October and received three years’ probation.
A probation officer stops by his house on Oak Street in Smithfield each evening to check up on him, his mother said.
In addition to the cocaine charge, his record includes misdemeanor convictions of possessing a .22-caliber handgun, resisting arrest, assault, possessing marijuana, and breaking into a house and stealing $2,000 worth of goods.
Watson’s arrest last week stemmed from a student brawl just before the winter break. Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said all 10 of those arrested had thrown punches and refused to disperse.
Smithfield-Selma Principal Phil Lee said he had been aware of Watson’s legal troubles because the police notify the school when they charge a student with a felony.
Lee would not comment specifically on Watson’s case. He said he evaluates whether a student accused or convicted of a crime presents a danger to other students. A student who does present a danger can be suspended, expelled or sent to an alternative school.
“We know what’s going on in terms of the legal issues,” Lee said. “It’s our job to make sure we determine whether or not that child can remain in the school environment.”
Sounds like there is a lot of good “socialization” going on there.