All posts by Bruce Becker

Boy shot dead at high school after bullying conflict ‘escalated out of control’: Official

A boy was shot dead at a North Carolina high school Monday morning -- allegedly by a classmate -- after a bullying conflict "escalated out of control," officials said.

The shooting at Butler High School in Matthews, North Carolina, about 12 miles outside of Charlotte, was "an isolated incident," the Matthews Police Department said.

One student, a 16-year-old boy in the ninth-grade, was taken into custody and charged with first-degree murder, police said.

The slain student was identified as tenth-grader Bobby Mckeithen, 16, police said.

State Superintendent Mark Johnson said he is "heartbroken to hear that we have lost a student to school violence."

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2 girls plotted to stab classmates to death and drink their blood, cops say

BARTOW, Fla. -- Two middle-school girls -- ages 11 and 12 -- brought knives to their Florida school in a foiled plot to kill classmates, cut them up and drink their blood before killing themselves, police officials said Wednesday. "They told us they were Satan worshipers," Bartow Police Chief Joe Hall said, CBS affiliate WKMG reported.

The girls planned to stake out a bathroom at Bartow Middle School and wait for smaller students to enter, according to a police affidavit. They planned to cut their victims' throats, cut up their bodies and eat the flesh, authorities said. The students then planned to fatally stab themselves.

"The plan was to kill at least 1 student but were hoping to kill anywhere from 15-25 students," the affidavit said. "Killing all of these students was in hopes it would make them worse sinners ensuring that after they committed suicide ... (they) would go to hell so they could be with satan."

Detectives said the girls devised the plot while watching "scary" movies at one of their houses over the weekend. Detectives said the girls posted information about the planned attack on social media. Messages on their cellphones also stated they wanted to leave body parts at the school's entrance, WKMB reported.

The alleged plot was foiled when administrators searched for them after they didn't show up for class Tuesday. The administrators found them in a bathroom stall and brought them back to their offices where they found the girls in possession of four knives, a pizza cutter and a knife sharpener, police said.

After their arrest, the girls were sent to a juvenile detention facility.

"School staff quickly responded to a report of suspicious behavior; the students were taken into custody, and no one was harmed," school officials said in a tweet.

The girls face charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and possession of a weapon at school, among other charges. It will be up to prosecutors to decide whether the girls will be charged formally as juveniles or adults, Deputy Police Chief Bryan Dorman said in an email.

Officials with Polk County Schools said that extra police officers and guidance counselors would be at the school this week.

Shot fired inside East Portland school, police say; no injuries, 1 arrest

Police said they have arrested the mother of a student whose gun fired inside the cafeteria of Jason Lee Elementary School Thursday afternoon.

Police said they don’t believe the gun was fired with the intent to injure anyone. No one was injured.

Police were called to the school, located at 2222 N.E. 92nd Avenue, just after 4:30 p.m.

The 911 caller provided police with a description of the suspect. She had left the school before officers showed up. They found her near Northeast 92nd Avenue and Halsey Street.

Police said the suspect entered the school to pick up her child, and while she was inside the cafeteria, her gun discharged.

The school said the gun was in the person's bag when it went off.

Police said they don’t believe the school community or the neighboring community are in danger.

The school sent a message to school families, saying the school immediately went into lockdown when the incident happened.

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Gun Fired In Baltimore Elementary School Bathroom: Report

BALTIMORE, MD — A Baltimore elementary school was reportedly placed on lockdown Wednesday morning after gunfire was heard inside the building. The incident occurred at Maree Garnett Elementary School at 300 Pontiac Avenue near Brooklyn.

Two students came to school with a gun apiece, then went into the boys bathroom and fired a single shot, according to WBAL. Staff put the school into lockdown before recovering a shell casing and the weapons, the TV station reported, later stating the children — ages 9 and 12 — face weapons charges.

There were two arrests as the result of the incident, according to WJZ.

Any students experiencing anxiety as a result of the incident may receive assistance from school-based support team members and mental health professionals, according to a statement Baltimore City Public Schools provided to ABC 2 News.

According to WBAL, the PTA is calling for increased security such as metal detectors.



Teen arrested with loaded gun at Canton high school

Police arrested a 15-year-old boy with a loaded and stolen handgun at McKinley High School on Wednesday, according to Canton police.

The boy, who lives in the 1900 block of Eighth Street SE, had the .380-caliber Ruger LCP handgun at the school at 2323 17th St. NW at 7:40 a.m. Wednesday, the reports show. Police reports listed the gun as stolen and worth about $300.

The boy was booked into the Multi-County Juvenile Attention Center on charges of having a weapon on school property, carrying a concealed weapon and receiving stolen property.

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Four more rape reports on or near Ohio University campus

Ohio University Police and Athens Police confirmed on Monday that since last week, four more rapes have been reported involving OU students on or near the city campus. The new reports bring the total number of rape investigations to six, just since students moved-in at the campus on August 23rd.

A further report of sexual imposition involving a student has also been made recently.

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Affidavit: 12-year-old points gun at teacher, pulls trigger

ELDRIDGE, Iowa — Court documents say a 12-year-old Iowa boy pointed a gun at his teacher's face and pulled the trigger, but the safety was on.

The Courier reports that court documents say the boy entered a North Scott Junior High classroom on Aug. 31 with a .22-caliber handgun and ordered everyone to the floor before he tried to shoot the teacher. Investigators say when the loaded gun failed to fire, the teacher wrestled it away from him.

The boy is charged with attempted murder, having a weapon on school grounds and assault while displaying a dangerous weapon. He remains in the Scott County Juvenile Detention Center.

The Associated Press doesn't generally name juveniles charged with crimes.


Ex-teacher gets 15 years in prison for raping student

SARATOGA SPRINGS - A former Saratoga Springs fifth-grade teacher was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison for raping a student, Saratoga County prosecutors said.

At the sentencing, the male victim addressed Elizabeth Barthelmas in Saratoga County Court directly to tell her that he is a survivor and is the strongest he has ever been, District Attorney Karen A. Heggen said in a news release.

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Virginia high school student shaken after brutal attack by bullies caught on camera goes viral

 - A heartbreaking case of bullying is made even worse after a brutal attack Monday morning at a Spotsylvania County school was caught on camera. And much to that student's horror, that disturbing video is now viral on social media.

Just days into the new school year, a video taken at Massaponax High School shows a student being viciously assaulted as other students were heard taunting and laughing at the student.

FOX 5’s Cori Coffin spoke exclusively with the victim, who didn’t wait to be named for fear of retribution.

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9-year-old kills himself after being bullied at school, mother says

DENVER - A Colorado boy took his own life during the first week of school, and his mom said bullying is to blame. The 9-year-old committed suicide just days after telling classmates he was gay.

"He was my sunshine because he was my only son," she said.

Myles started fourth grade at Joe Shoemaker School on Aug. 20. Weeks before, he worked up the courage to tell his mother that he was gay.

"And he looked so scared when he told me. He was, like, 'Mom, I'm gay.' And I thought he was playing, so I looked back because I was driving, and he was all curled up, so scared. And I said, 'I still love you,'" Pierce said. "He went to school and said he was gonna tell people he's gay because he's proud of himself."

On Aug. 23, Pierce found her son dead in their Denver home. She said he killed himself after being bullied.

"Four days is all it took at school. I could just imagine what they said to him. My son told my oldest daughter the kids at school told him to kill himself. I'm just sad he didn't come to me," Pierce said.

A letter was sent from Denver public schools to families saying they're providing extra social workers and their crisis team for students. In a statement, the district said it will continue to offer support to the family.

"I'm so upset that he thought that was his option," Pierce said.

Through the devastation, Pierce wants to spread awareness about the effects of bullying.

"We should have accountability for bullying. I think the child should, because the child knows it's wrong. The child wouldn't want someone to do it to them. I think the parent should be held (accountable) because obviously, the parents are either teaching them to be like that, or they're treating them like that," she said.