School Violence News: Student Reports Foil Secret Plot

By Greg Howard – April 8, 2013

School Violence ReportingA disturbing plot by two elementary school kids to murder a classmate was recently uncovered in Colville, Washington. The two accused boys, a 10-year-old fifth grader and an 11-year-old fifth grader, were apprehended in February and are set to stand trial in juvenile court this month.

Shockingly, the young boys had planned to rape and kill a young girl.  One of the boys reportedly said that he wanted to kill the girl because she was “rude” and because she “made fun of” the boy and his friends.

The boys had also composed a listing of six classmates that they wanted to harm or kill.

On the day of their planned attack on the girl, the boys brought a semi-automatic pistol with ammunition and a knife to school.

The violent plot was foiled thanks to tips from students at the school.

One fourth-grade student, who rides the same school bus as the accused boys, reportedly saw the knife on the bus and alerted a staff member at school about it.

Other students apparently overheard the boys talking about their plans and went to school officials with their concerns. One of the accused boys even promised to give $80 to another student if he would keep the plot a secret, according to news reports.

We here at the CyberBully Hotline applaud the students who made reports for their bravery.  Reporting a classmate can be a difficult or scary thing to do, but these students got over any discomfort they felt and stepped forward. Thanks to these students reaching out to school staff in a timely way, school leaders and law enforcement officials were able to stop the attack before anyone was hurt.

This story underlines the importance of having good relationships with students.  So much of what happens in the lives of students is invisible to school administrators. When students don’t feel they can come to school leaders with their problems and concerns, plots like this one are executed and people get hurt.

We would also suggest that this story highlights the need for an anonymous reporting program. Although students in this situation thankfully approached school administrators, there are some instances where students wouldn’t come forward. Students might not know who to talk to, or they might think that they could get in trouble themselves for reporting wrongdoing.  In fact, these exact reasons for not coming forward are often cited by survivors of school shootings.

We encourage everyone to learn more about anonymous reporting programs like the CyberBully Hotline.  Having the means for students to report what they see and hear anonymously can make a difference in every school and district.

Click here to receive more information on the CyberBully Hotline.

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