SAFER SCHOOLS NEWS-VOL. 99
Shooting Plot Uncovered
|Let’s Stop the violence!
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Assessing the Potentially Dangerous Student
FREE Knowledge Base Center
April 20, 2006
RIVERTON, KS — Five students at Riverton High School decided to celebrate the anniversary of the Columbine shooting with a massacre of their own. There is little doubt that they were serious the five plotters range in age from 16-18, all are males. One of them posted a warning on the internet. Police took it seriously and executed searches.
Sheriff’s deputies found guns, ammunition, knives and coded messages in the bedroom of one suspect, and also found documents about firearms in two suspects’ school lockers.
“What the resounding theme is: They were actually going to do this,” Norman said.
Norman said he would ask prosecutors to bring charges of conspiracy to commit murder against the teens, ages 16 to 18. He said the state attorney general would handle the prosecution.
Deputies’ interviews with the suspects indicated they planned to wear black trench coats and disable the school’s camera system before starting the attack between noon and 1 p.m. Thursday, Norman said. The suspects apparently had been plotting since the beginning of the school year.
Officials at Riverton High School began investigating on Tuesday after learning that a threatening message had been posted on MySpace.com, he said.
The message discussed the significance of April 20, which is Adolf Hitler’s birthday and the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School attack in Colorado, in which two students wearing trench coats killed 13 people and committed suicide, the sheriff said.
“The message, it was brief, but it stated that there was going to be a shooting at the Riverton school and that people should wear bulletproof vests and flak jackets,” Norman said.
School officials identified the student who posted the message and talked to several of his friends, Norman said.
But Riverton school district Superintendent David Walters said the significance of the threat didn’t become clear until Wednesday night, after a woman in North Carolina who had chatted with one of the suspects on Myspace.com received a list of about a dozen potential victims, including at least one staff member. She notified authorities in her state, who contacted the sheriff’s department, Norman said.
It appears that the plotters were victims of bullying and their targets were popular students.
Was this an isolated event?
- Across the border in Canada, a grade 10 New Brunswick student was arrested for the same thing.
- Down the road in Platte City, KS two 17-year old students were arrested for the same plot.
- Across the country in Alabama, a 9th grader was arrested for plotting to shoot football players who were bullying him.
- North Pole, Alaska a group of 7th graders are in custody after it was discovered that they were planning on killing their bullies and perhaps some teachers.
- In Chicago, Glenbrook Schools had about 500 no-shows as parents kept their children home after rumors and graffiti indicated a repeat of Columbine was planned. Other schools in the Chicago area had similar problems with student absentees.
- In Missouri, a school was placed on “high alert” after stolen rifles were discovered in cave across the street. The guns were hidden but placed with barrels pointing toward the school.
- In southern Illinois, students reported that another student was planning a Columbine style event on April 19. Some parents kept their students home; others were upset because the school did not notify them.
- Pearl, MS Two students are under arrest after posting a threat on the internet. They used the name of a Pearl student who in 1997 killed his mother, two students and wounded 7 others.
- And the list could go on.
Are there students in your school who are being bullied everyday? What are the chances that they might join this growing number of victims who have decided to stop it themselves, if the school will not do it?
If you are not sure if your school has a plan or policy or if you are not sure your school has adequate training in prevention and preparedness, contact Keys To Safer Schools.com today for assistance from the Multi-disciplinary Team.
Keys To Safer Schools.com can provide the training to your school to establish programs such as:
- Learn FREE Knowledge Base Center
- Assessing the Potentially Dangerous Student
- Anger Management/De-escalation Training
- Bullying Stops When Respect Begins
- Crisis Preparedness
- and others