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Two New Mexico students charged with plotting a school shooting

New Mexico authorities announce that two 15-year-old students of Farmington High School have been arrested and charged with planning a school shooting. A third 15-year-old may also be involved, but has not yet been arrested.

According to the Farmington, New Mexico Police Department, detailed plans, a map of the school, and a list of supplies to carry out the school shooting have been confiscated.

Originally, a fellow student had reported concerns to a school official. The school's resource officer (SRO) then became involved, and the SRO informed the Farmington Police Department. "We’re grateful to the student who reported this early so that school staff and our officers could intervene," stated Farmington Police Department Chief Steve Hebbe.

These arrests follow the shooting death of a 13-year-old at New Mexico's Washington Middle School near Albuquerque in mid-August. A fellow13-year-old student was arrested and charged with murder.

Farmington High School entrance, (c) Steven Baltakatei Sandoval

Leakage of Violent Intent and Prevention of School Violence

As reported on this blog, the arrests of students in New Mexico follow arrests of other students in Florida and Pennsylvania for plotting school shootings, the closure of schools in New Jersey in the wake of threats to schools and officials in that state, and the wounding of a school principal by a former student in Houston. All of these incidents occurred within the past three weeks.

According to the F.B.I., students who are considering perpetrating violence directed toward a school will engage in "leakage of violent intent." This is when they share what they are considering, even actively planning with others, usually fellow students or a teacher.

The phenomenon of "Leakage of violent intent" is critical in the prevention of school/workplace violence. It is why the WVPI stresses the importance of proper reporting systems within schools which clearly inform students, faculty and staff where to take their safety concerns. Such reporting systems must also include written assurances that all such concerns will be immediately investigated without fear of retribution toward the person who invoked the reporting procedure.



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