Life-Saving Lessons

By Lottie L. Joiner

Not long ago, three teenage boys in New Bedford, Mass., a town about 50 miles south of Boston, devised a plan to conduct a violent rampage at their high school.

The boys plotted to kill as many "jocks, preps, thugs, and faculty" as they could with bombs and guns. They called themselves the Trench Coat Mafia, after their Columbine heroes, and wanted their murderous attack to be even deadlier than the 1999 massacre in Littleton, Colo.

But the attack never happened.

The plot was uncovered before it could be carried out, and the three teens were arrested just a few days after Thanksgiving. The foiled plot was seen as a victory in the world of school security: The district's security measures had helped avert a potential mass murder.

Finally, the lessons learned after Columbine were saving lives. 

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