Violence in Our Schools

August 1, 1996 through July 31, 1997

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To report a threat of school violence before the instigator has a chance to act on his/her intentions, please contact Speak Up at 1-866-SPEAKUP (that is 1-866-773-2587)

I would like to thank all of the Survivors and others who have contacted me with information about school violence.  I really do appreciate the help, for without their help, several of these occurrences would not be here.

One other thing I would like to ask of those who read over this list of tragedies is this: If you can provide me with any more details of any of these incidents, I would greatly appreciate the information. Or, if you know of another violent act at a school that is not on this list, please forward that information to me as well.  The link to my e-mail is above.

Penn State University, State College, Pennsylvania

Tuesday, September 17, 1996

Jillian Robbins spread a tarp under trees in the northwest corner of the HUB lawn on the Penn State campus this morning just before 9:30 a.m. She then pulled out a 7mm Mauser rifle, a high-power military weapon, and fired five shots toward College Avenue.  One of her bullets killed senior Melanie Spalla, 138 feet away, while another bullet traveled over 300 feet to land in Nicholas Mensah's abdomen.  Jillian was able to load a second clip before Brendon Malovrh found her position and tackled her. Brendon was able to wrestle the gun away from Jillian, but she pulled out a knife and tried to stab him.  When he eluded the knife jab, Jillian stabbed herself in her thigh.  Brendon tried to stem her blood loss with his belt until the paramedics where able to take her to the hospital.  Jillian was arrested at the scene and answered repeatedly, "I don't know," when asked why she brought school violence back to PSU.


Melanie Spalla


Nicholas Mensah, 22

instigator Jillian Robbins, 19

DeKalb Alternative (High) School, Scottsdale, Georgia

Wednesday, September 25, 1996

It only took a week for 16-year-old David Dubose, Jr. to bring violence to Scottsdale, Georgia.  The teen had been enrolled at DeKalb for less than week when he brought a .38-caliber revolver with him to school today.  He repeatedly fired it into the chest of English teacher Dr. Horace P. Morgan, 49, who had been at the school for ten years.  Dr. Morgan died from this attack. 

Source: National School Safety Center's Report on School Associated Violent Deaths

Wichita Falls High School, Wichita Falls, Texas

Wednesday, September 25, 1996

Also today, two half-sisters stab a rival school classmate to death at a bus stop while she was waiting for the bus to school.  Taquisha Ragsdale, 15, and LaShawnna Duval, 17, attend Hirshi High School.  For an undisclosed reason, they attacked 14-year-old Erika Holloway at 6:56 this morning at a school bus stop.  Erika died from this attack.

Source: National School Safety Center's Report on School Associated Violent Deaths

Smedley Elementary School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Wednesday, October 2, 1996

This afternoon parents lined up as normal to pickup their children when school lets out. While Stacy Buxton-Boyd was waiting with her cousin Lealoa "Jenny" Coles for Stacy's children to be released from class, her estranged ex-husband, 25-year-old Steven Boyd, shows up.  He shoots and kills both women.


Stacy Buxton-Boyd, 26 Lealoa "Jenny" Coles, 19

Source: National School Safety Center's Report on School Associated Violent Deaths

St. Bernard High School, Playa del Rey, California

Friday, October 4, 1996

At the end of tonight's football game between Jordan High School and St. Bernard High School, a 17-year-old Jordan football player opens fire with a gun.  Earoll Michael Thomas, 18, is killed and another youth was wounded.  This shooting happened just after 10:00.

Source: National School Safety Center's Report on School Associated Violent Deaths

Jacksonville Senior High School, Sherwood, Arkansas

Wednesday, October 9, 1996

A heated exchange of words on a school bus climaxed when 14-year-old Willis Johnson opened fire with a .22-caliber revolver.  He killed his opponent, 20-year-old Earl Jamerson Routt.

Source: National School Safety Center's Report on School Associated Violent Deaths

An Elementary School in Queensland, Australia

Thursday, October 10, 1996

Today on the playground of an elementary school in Queensland, Paul Streeton, a student, set fire to 6-year-old Tjandamurra O'Shane.  He received burns to over 70% of his body and survived.  Paul's motive was racism against Tjandamurra's aboriginal background.

Source: - List of School-Related Attacks, Wikipedia - List of School Related Attacks

Sumner High School, St. Louis, Missouri

Friday, October 11, 1996

During a fight between several students in a hallway at Sumner High School, 15-year-old Kembert Thomas opened fire. Lamon Hones, 17, is struck by at least one of the bullets and rushed to the hospital.  He dies three weeks later on November 1, 1996.  Kembert is convicted of second-degree murder on January 28, 1998.

Source: National School Safety Center's Report on School Associated Violent Deaths

Pensacola High School, Pensacola, Florida

Wednesday, October 16, 1996

A war of words turned deadly for Frances Ross, 16, this afternoon as she and her 17-year-old half-sister Lawanda McPherson, walked home from the high school.  Gena Lawson, 15, and two other girls were walking behind Frances and Lawanda along East Jordan Street in Pensacola at 2:55 p.m. when the attack began.  Gena pulled out a can of Mace and a 6 - 8 inch butcher knife from her purse.  She sprayed the sisters in the face and then began cutting and stabbing them.  Frances and Lawanda were able to fend off Gena's initial attack and were able to run away before Gena caught up to Lawanda and stabbed her twice in the back.  Frances was slashed across her throat and made it to the corner of Hayne and Hernandez streets where she collapsed.  Lawanda was still able to make it another block east before collapsing at Alcaniz and Hernandez.  Neighbors rushed to the wounded girls and called 911.  Officer Tony Rahaim responded and after verifying Frances and Lawanda were being attended to, went after Gena, who had picked up her books, her purse, Frances' purse and was heading home.  Gena was charged on Thursday with an open count of murder, attempted murder and armed robbery.

Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Wednesday, October 16, 1996

Yesterday 27-year-old Jay Severson, a Wiley Hall counselor at the university, caught fellow student Jarrod Allen Eskew, 19, cutting cocaine in his dorm room.  Jay called the campus police, however by the time they arrived, Jarrod had left the building.  Today at 2:50 in the afternoon, Jarred returned to Wiley Hall under the influence of marijuana and cocaine and carrying a 12-guage shotgun.  He went to Jay's room and shot him dead in the head.  He then barricaded himself in his third floor dorm room.  A janitor found Jay's body and called the police.  They surrounded the building and tried to negotiate with the drugged up Jarred.  The SWAT team fired tear gas into his room before they stormed in.  They found Jarrod's body as he had taken his life with the shotgun.

Source: - List of School-Related Attacks

Highlands High School, Sacramento, California

Wednesday, November 27, 1996

Another pre-Thanksgiving Day act of school violence.  This evening, after a Grant city basketball game at Highlands High School, a fight breaks out in the parking lot.  Darnell Augustus, Jr. and a friend attempt to leave the melee but their car has trouble starting.  Grant Police Officer Steven Grives see the two trying to flee and orders them out of the car.  Darnell, 19, refuses to exit the vehicle and so Officer Grives plans to forcibly remove him from the vehicle. During the struggle between officer and student, Officer Grives' gun goes off, killing Darnell.

Source: National School Safety Center's Report on School Associated Violent Deaths

Robert Gould Shaw Middle School, West Roxbury, Massachusetts

Tuesday, January 7, 1997

Today, during normal school hours, an argument between students escalated to a brawl shortly before 2:00 p.m. amid a fleet of buses ready to take the students home.  The brawl, mainly between Hispanic and Somali students, climaxed when two of the Somali students, ages 14 and 15, were stabbed and slashed by two of the  Hispanic male students, ages 13 and 15. One of the Somali students was stabbed in the finger by the 13-year-old seventh-grader.  Police were able to arrest the 15-year-old Tuesday night and charged him with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.  The young instigator returned on Wednesday loaded with weapons in fear of revenge.  He was carrying two razors, two steak knives, a screwdriver, a Swiss Army knife and a meat mallet.  Police arrested the boy and charged him with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Source: The Boston Globe - Second Youth is Held in School Stabbing

Crown Heights High School, New York City, New York

Saturday, January 11, 1997

Six teenage boys were fighting (three on three) at this school in Brooklyn today when three of the got the upper hand by drawing guns and opening fire.  Two of the boys were critically wounded and a third one was killed. 

Source: National School Safety Center's Report on School Associated Violent Deaths

Conniston Middle School, West Palm Beach, Florida

Monday, January 27, 1997

Tronneal Mangum, 13, stole an Adidas watch from 14-year-old John Pierre Kamel this morning  John has a prosthetic leg and a malformed heart.  While trying to get his watch back, Tronneal kills John with three shots from a gun he was carrying.  This happened at 8:40 a.m. on a sidewalk outside the school.

Source: National School Safety Center's Report on School Associated Violent Deaths

Lincoln Elementary School, Ventura, California

Tuesday, February 18, 1997

Marsha Ann Lane was known in the community as a transient and listed "homeless advocacy organization" as her address.  This morning, the 43-year-old woman was found dead on the steps of Lincoln Elementary School by a teacher at 7:00.  Police wouldn't say how the woman died, only that it was the result of an on-site homicide (which, according to my scope of school violence, makes this a school violence act).

Source: National School Safety Center's Report on School Associated Violent Deaths

Bethel High School, Bethel, Alaska

Wednesday, February 19, 1997

Evan Ramsey, 16, killed 15-year-old Joshua Palacios, a popular student athlete, and his principal, Ron Edwards, at his school.  He used a stolen 12-guage shotgun from his foster home. Two other students were wounded.  Evan has been sentenced to 210 years in prison and will be eligible for parole in 2050. 

First Coast High School, Jacksonville, Florida

Thursday, February 20, 1997

After an argument with her coach on how to improve her playing ability, 17-year-old Melissa Chambliss committed suicide there on the baseball field.  Melissa was also upset over her poor showing in an athletic scholarship tryout.

Source: National School Safety Center's Report on School Associated Violent Deaths

Rancho High School, Las Vegas, Nevada

Thursday, February 20, 1997

Also today, in Las Vegas, a 16-year-old student was shot in his thigh in his school's parking lot as the students left for the day.  He was shot with a 9mm handgun.  The student body, about 2,000 teens, were leaving for the day when a westbound car slowed up in front of the campus and u-turned into the lot shortly before 1 p.m.  Campus police were alerted to a possible fight and were en route when three shots were fired.  The car sped away as the police arrived.

Bayonne High School, Newark, New Jersey

Wednesday, March 5, 1997

During a fight in a stairwell at Bayonne High School, 18-year-old Aubrey Taylor was stabbed to death by David Rodriguez, 20.  A friend of Aubrey, 17-year-old Akim Garland was also stabbed by David, but was rushed to the hospital and listed in critical condition.

Source: National School Safety Center's Report on School Associated Violent Deaths

Pershing High School, Detroit, Michigan

Monday, March 17, 1997

During a fight in the school parking lot, 16-year-old Kenneth Baumgart was shot to death.  Three male high school students were charged with Kenneth's murder.

Source: National School Safety Center's Report on School Associated Violent Deaths

Buena High School, Ventura, California

Tuesday, March 25, 1997

Over a dozen students from Buena High School's physical education class took a "power walk" with their instructor, Betty Harrison, this afternoon.  Just before 2 p.m., as the class walked past the Gateway Ventura satellite school on Loma Vista Road, four to five gang members at the satellite school flashed gang signs and began to harass them.  The gang members chased the students down a street near Ventura College where they engaged the students at the corner of Day and Loma Vista roads.  A 15-year-old student was stabbed in the lower back, while a 17-year-old boy was severely beaten by the gang members.  The Gateway Ventura satellite school, an alternative school for students in trouble, is physically located at the Dorothy Boswell School, a school for special needs students.  When word of this attack spread, and the possibility that the gang members were students attending the same school as special needs students, several parents were shocked and outraged that the two groups are together in one building.  However, school officials say the program has been in place for nine years with no negative affects.

Source: L.A. Times - School Halts Class Walks After Attack; L.A. Times - Attack Highlights School's Unusual Mix of Students

Sullivan Middle School, Lowell, Massachusetts

Thursday, March 27, 1997

When a fight broke out between five to six students, a teacher and guidance counselor David "Jake" McHugh tried to break it up.  David, 34, was knocked to the ground and kicked above his left ear several times. He was taken to the hospital and treated.  Unfortunately, on August 12, 1997, as he was showering at his home, he collapsed and died.  The medical examiner classified David's death as a related homicide to the fight.

Source: National School Safety Center's Report on School Associated Violent Deaths

Al-Tallai Private High School, San'a, Yemen

Sunday, March 30, 1997

One of Mohammad Ahmad Misleh's daughters was kidnapped and raped earlier this month, and Mohammed believed the act was approved by school officials.  However, a medical examiner's report showed no evidence of the rape.  Mohammed sought his revenge anyway on those he believe were involved. Armed with an assault rifle, the 42-year-old Mohammed went to Al-Tallai this morning and targeted the school's headmistress.  He killed her outright and then a cafeteria employee who attempted to cover her body.  He moved toward the school and a bystander tried to stop him, but Mohammed gunned him down.  Once inside the school, Mohammed fired wildly, hitting students and teachers indiscriminately.  He left the chaos behind and ran a few hundred yards to another school and opened fire again.  Teachers and students screamed as they ran into the streets to get away from the mad gunman.  Security forces rushed in and wounded Mohammed after a brief shootout.  On Monday, Mohammed was in court where he was convicted on five counts of murder, 12 counts of attempted murder and resisting arrest.  He was sentenced to death by firing squad.  Mohammed asked for an immediate appeal of the decision and the court said they would hear the appeal on Tuesday.  By the end of the week, the sentence was carried out. Swift justice indeed. Most news sourced report eight deaths associated with this act of school violence, but Yemen's official news agency, SABA, reported five. This information was referenced in the second CNN story.  So, that's the number I'm going with.

Source: CNN - Gunman Kills Eight at Two Schools in Yemen; CNN - Yemeni Gunman Sentenced to Death in School Rampage

Cumberland Regional High School, Upper Deerfield Township, New Jersey

Monday, April 28, 1997

For an undisclosed reason, 16-year-old Peter Henriques pummeled Nielsa Mason, also 16, to death in a boy's locker room at Cumberland Regional High School.  The girl's body is found by a janitor around 9:00 p.m.

Source: National School Safety Center's Report on School Associated Violent Deaths

City-as-School (High School), New York City, New York

Wednesday, April 30, 1997

19-year-old Cornelius Ray and an unnamed 18-year-old male student wearing a black jacket were arguing on the steps of this alternative school this afternoon around 12:30 when the unnamed student shot Cornelius in the chest.  Cornelius was transported to St. Vincent's Hospital where he was in critical but stable condition.  City-as-School houses three specialized high school programs.  Cornelius was enrolled in the Lower Manhattan Outreach Project.  The City-as-School program lets students work at public and private jobs outside the school to obtain a hands-on education.

Source: The New York Times - Student is Shot Outside School in Manhattan

Wilde Lake High School, Columbia, Maryland

Wednesday, May 14, 1997

After breaking up a fight between several girls from Wild Lake and rival school Howard High, 60-year-old Dr. Lawrence C. Hoyer dies of a heart attack in a hallway at the school that he taught in.

Source: National School Safety Center's Report on School Associated Violent Deaths

Rio Linda High School, Rio Linda, California

Friday, May 16, 1997

Needing a ride home from school, 18-year-old Michelle Montoya entered the school's woodshop to use the phone to call her father.  She encountered the school's janitor in the woodshop and it is not known why the next events happened, just that they did.  Alex del Thomas, the 34-year-old janitor, stabbed Michelle in the back, slashed her throat and crushed her skull.  He was on parole for manslaughter from Folsom Prison and working at the school.  Folsom Prison was made popular by Johnny Cash's song Folsom Prison Blues.

Source: National School Safety Center's Report on School Associated Violent Deaths

Lew Wallace High School, Gary, Indiana

June 1997

During Lew Wallace's graduation ceremony, a student was shot in the face.

A High School in Austria

Sometime in the 1996 - 1997 School Year

Using his father's gun, 15-year-old Helmut Z shot and killed one teacher and wounded another this year.  He was sentenced to eight years in prison, but was released in September of 2001 on parole.

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