Small School – Big Crime


Posts about real school tragedy, crime, and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #199: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving a high school freshman.

A few years ago, in a small, high desert town, before leaving for school that morning, a 14-year-old freshman packed into her backpack, a 9mm semi-automatic handgun with 18 rounds of ammunition. The high school had been in session for a couple of weeks.

Her family had lived in the town for six months. At the time of the incident, the small high school had an enrollment of 290 students.

According to news reports, the freshman went to a girl’s bathroom to prepare herself for the act she was about to commit. The plan derailed when a 17-year-old junior entered the bathroom. Noticing the gun in the younger student’s hand, the older student ducked and ran.

The older student received a non-life threatening injury to her lower body. It’s unknown why the girl changed her mind about carrying out her plan—she turned the gun on herself.

Investigators found nothing to indicate bullying as a mitigating circumstance. Through the investigation, the authorities determined she had planned to shoot her stepbrother.

School violence happens too often. There’s no pattern for determining where—all schools of all sizes are at risk. However, there are some commonalities that can help determine who. Bullying does seem to be a critical factor in most school violence occurrences and there are key failures that may be related.

  1. Weapons were accessible to the child.
  2. The school didn’t have a handle on bullying.
  3. Someone may have seen a threatening post, text, or message and considered it to be unbelievable.

My heartfelt condolences go to anyone who has lost a loved one to school violence. And my heart truly hurts for families and friends involved in a school violence event.

Here’s another incident of school violence you may have missed: Kill Everyone On Monday

Worth mentioning: Often, news of a public shooting is followed by attention seekers making threats. In the same town, on the same day as the school shooting shared in this post, authorities received threats against the local college, hospital, and a motel.

Robin Lyons BlogEnter a Google search for school threat and the results are disheartening. Here are the results for school threats that made the mainstream network news this week. Many incidents don’t make the national news.

  • Florida teen arrested after allegedly posting school shooting threat.
  • 18-year-old arrested after threat against Las Vegas School.
  • Belvidere schools on lockdown as police investigate reported threat.

Is your child being bullied? A great resource is: Stop Bullying

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!


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Source: NBC News, Texas Monthly, Alpine Police News Release

2 thoughts on “Small School – Big Crime

  1. So sad, I wonder if she had been watching that series on Netflix that glorifies teen suicide, “13 reasons”. It’s in its third season.
    It’s a shame that kids can’t ask for help. At that hormonal age everything seems terminal.

    • Robin Lyons

      Hey Mark! Child suicide is so, so sad. I hadn’t heard of the “13 reasons” series, I’ll check it out. Thanks for commenting and for the tip.

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