Did Lessons of Columbine Help Thwart Tampa School Bomb Plot?


The lessons of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Colorado may have helped prevent violence in Tampa this week, says the Christian Science Monitor. Jared Cano was arrested in a plan to bomb Freedom High School on its opening day. He had been expelled during the previous school year. It's not clear whether a tipster who notified police was someone from the school, but Hillsborough County school superintendent MaryEllen Elia told CBS’s “The Early Show” that the district has worked hard to encourage people to speak up about anything suspicious that they see. She credited the district's close relationship with the police for helping to thwart the plot.

“Schools have come to the realization that creating safe environments [ ] is a complex undertaking [ ] and that local police, local sheriffs are our partners and we have to embrace them, and I think that's what happened in Tampa,” says William Modzeleski of the U.S. Education Department’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. School administrators need to think about “looking at individual, behavior history, family history, looking to see if any mental health issues are involved, and if so, does that put the kid at higher risk [for violence],” says Kenneth Trump of National School Safety and Security Services.

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