Thursday, October 11, 2007

The war at home, continued.

They were warned, and it appears they did nothing.
[Yesterday] Asa Coon, wearing a Marilyn Manson shirt, black jeans and black nail polish, opened fire with two revolvers on Wednesday, wounding two students and two teachers at SuccessTech Academy in downtown Cleveland. Coon, 14, had a history of mental problems and was known for cursing at teachers and bickering with students.

A classmate said Thursday that he and others had warned their principal about threats by Asa Coon and said the attack could have been prevented. The student, Rasheem Smith, said on CBS’ “Early Show” that despite their warnings, principal Johneita Durant told them she was too busy.

“I told my friends in the class that he had a gun and stuff,” said Smith, 15. “He was talking about doing it last week. I don’t know why they didn’t say nothing.

“We talked to the principal. She would try to get us all in the office, but it would always be too busy for it to happen,” Smith said.
The full story is here.

The police arrested the dead boy’s brother today, but, as of this moment, no one is saying just why. So once again (besides the oh-so-predictable mention of Marilyn Manson and other Goth culture accoutrements), we have a school shooting case where the shooter told other kids what he was going to do, but in this case, the kids who were told did the right thing, and the “adults” in charge did not act. Good gravy. We get professional development materials on this sort of thing all the time at my school. Like, weekly. Most teachers and administrators do. It all says the same thing. “Since the tragedy at Columbine”…. teachers and administrators need to take any potential threat seriously. Unless you like the idea of dodging bullets in the hallway, or attending the funerals of your colleagues and students.

Oh, and then I found this interesting story today:
PHILADELPHIA, PA (AP) Oct. 11 - A home-schooled teenager who felt bullied
amassed a cache of guns, knives and hand grenades and tried to recruit another
boy for a possible school attack, authorities said Thursday.

The 14-year-old was taken into custody after police searched his bedroom in a Philadelphia suburb on Wednesday evening. He had talked about mounting a Columbine-type attack at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, authorities said.

The weapons included a 9mm assault rifle that the teenager’s mother had recently bought for him, Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. said. Prosecutors are reviewing her actions.

Police also found about 30 air-powered guns, plus swords, knives, hand grenades, a bomb-making book, videos of the 1999 Columbine attack in Colorado and violence-filled notebooks, Castor said. The weapons were plainly visible in the boy’s bedroom, Castor said…

“I do not think an attack was imminent and I am not certain that an attack was going to occur at all,” Castor said at a news conference. “It could have simply been big talking by a kid who thought that he was bullied previously and he was going to exact his revenge.” [Flabbergasted emphasis mine]

The rest is here.

Right. No “attack” was “imminent.” Like he knows. His psychic powers tell him so. I guess our suspect here just liked… what, exactly? Collecting shiny metal objects? At least in this case, when this would-be killer tried to recruit another teen to help him out, that kid had the sense to tell an adult, and the police were called. They acted. But they do still sound a bit clueless.

And, did you catch the part that said that the kid’s mother bought him an assault rifle??? Interesting hobby your son has going there, ma’am. And to think: my folks worried about me because I played Dungeons and Dragons.

See? THIS is the mentality we’re dealing with. After Padukah, after Pearl, after Columbine, after Jonesboro, after all the others, and even after Virginia Tech. After all of the carnage and sorrow.

And this is exactly why these tragedies are going to continue to happen. For absolutely, positively sure.

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