After Student Killing, Principal Says Treat School Like Airport


The morning he allegedly stabbed a fellow pupil fatally, a Boston area high school student played a violent video game in which an animated character stalks a series of corridors to stab and shoot his victims, said a prosecutor quoted by the Boston Globe. A short time later, after arriving at school, John Odgren, 16, is said to have waited in an empty bathroom for a random victim of his own. Seeking to show that the Jan. 19 slaying was premeditated, prosecutor Daniel Bennett said the teenager had visited numerous Web sites about knives on the night before the killing and had said goodbye to online friends the week before.

School principal John Ritchie told parents, “My paradigm is that we should treat the school as an airport. As you know, in an airport, there is absolutely no place for humorous or ironic comments about safety, bombs, weapons, or explosive devices. Any such comment is treated extremely seriously, not as a casual remark, and we must adopt the same approach here.” For the next 20 days, Odgren is to be evaluated for mental competence to stand trial.


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