Two Tennessee teens have been charged with allegedly plotting a mass shooting at Volunteer High School in Church Hill, Tenn. According to the NY Daily News on Friday, authorities have confirmed that the boys allegedly had a cache of weapons and detailed written plans to kill as many teachers and students as possible. These arrests have made news around the world. The charges were announced a few days after a school shooting in Oregon made the news, but the Hawkins County Sheriff's Department has been investigating the case for several months. The teens have been in custody since the investigation began.
The names of the young men, aged 16 and 17, have not been released due to their ages. ABC News reports that the younger boy, who was age 15 at the onset of the investigation, had a fascination with the shooters at the 1999 Columbine school massacre and serial killers in general. He had studied the Columbine incident as he planned the massacre at Volunteer High School. The plans were drawn up to time the shootings when the most potential victims would be in the cafeteria and the hallways. He had also attempted to recruit other participants.
The plot was reported to the authorities by a counselor who was treating this younger boy after his parents had found a journal with detailed plans for the Volunteer High massacre. The student had also personally shared his violent plans for his senior year to the counselor during a session. A December search turned up the journals, guns, firecrackers and a bag of gun powder. Floor plans to Volunteer High School were also discovered in the student’s possession.
The two boys have been charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, conspiracy terrorism and possession of explosives. Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson has expressed how serious the situation was. He stated, "“I want you to know that this wasn’t just a threat — it was a planned attack.” At the same time, Hawkins County School system has assured the public that the students were never in danger. So, who do the parents of students at Volunteer High School in Church Hill, Tenn., believe?