School Bomb Plot May Have Been Foiled by Teacher’s Smart Reporting Decision

handcuffsAnother deadly school attack may have been thwarted. Police say an Alabama teen planned on using homemade bombs to attack students at his high school.

Seventeen-year-old Derek Shrout was taken into custody after his alleged murder plot was discovered in the most surprising way.


A teacher happened to find his journal detailing the plan and turned it over to police. "The journal contained several plans that looked like potential terrorist attacks, and attacks of violence and danger on the school," the sheriff told WTVM-TV. "And in particular, there were six students specifically named, and one teacher."

Shrout reportedly told investigators that he was a white supremacist and the kids that he named in his journal are black. After searching his home, they found several small tobacco cans and two larger ones with holes drilled in them and filled with pellets. According to the sheriff, the devices were "a step away from being ready to explode."

Even scarier, police think the Sandy Hook shooting may have played a part in his plot because his first journal entry was December 17 -- three days after the Connecticut attack.

It is beyond lucky that this teacher came across his diary. I think the lesson in all of this is no matter how this particular story turns out, we must be vigilant about suspicious or troubling behavior. Bottom line: we must pry into kids' lives. While there is still so much we do not know about this case, one thing is clear: if those bomb making materials were actually his, that teacher may have saved many lives. Just as important, this young man -- if in fact guilty -- will be getting the help he needs.

Are you surprised there was possibly another school attack in the works?


Image via v1ctor/Flickr

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