Some things never go out of style:
A 16-year-old boy “was flashing two knives around” when he injured 19 students and a school police officer who eventually subdued him with the help of an assistant principal at a high school near Pittsburgh on Wednesday, a police chief said…
Officials said a 17-year-old boy and 14-year-old boy were in critical condition, a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy were in serious condition, and a 17-year-old boy and two 17-year-old girls were in fair condition.
Five patients had been discharged, including three 15-year-old boys, a 16-year-old girl and an adult…
The chief said someone, possibly a student, pulled a fire alarm after seeing some of the victims being stabbed. Although that created chaos, he said, it also resulted in students running out of the school to safety faster than they might have otherwise.
So this could have been much worse but for the quick thinking of the fire-alarm-puller.
When you have a disarmed population, as in a school (or for that matter, today’s army bases), you have an opportunity for someone to flout the rules with a weapon and do a great deal of damage. Knives can be very good for the purpose, although it’s more difficult to do quite as much damage with them as with guns because knives necessitate getting closer to the victims. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Schools represent a knotty problem. I don’t think it makes sense to allow students to arm themselves. But having a completely disarmed school is not solution, either. Right after the Sandy Hook massacre there was a lot of discussion—including on this blog—in favor of the possibility of arming a few well-trained teachers and/or administrators. Increasing the security detail at schools would probably be too expensive for most school systems. But leaving the students and teachers defenseless is not a good idea, either.
The unidentified student who pulled the fire alarm was being creative. I’m also wondering why, with a knife-wielding assailant, a bunch of students didn’t jump him in unison to try to stop him. But perhaps they did, and he managed to slash at them and wound them.
[UPDATE: Some heroic tales emerge:
An assistant principal and several students were hailed as heroes today for their quick thinking during a stabbing spree inside a Murrysville, Pa., high school.
Thomas Seefeld, the Murrysville police chief, said at a news conference that an assistant principal at Franklin Regional High School tackled the 16-year-old suspect, who is now in police custody.
The assistant principal has been identified as Sam King...
A student, Nate Scimio, pulled the alarm during the attack in order to alert students to leave.
"He knew what was happening... and he wanted the people to get out," Alyssa Finch, a senior at the school, told ABC News.
Scimio suffered two cuts to his arm in the process.
Seefeld said pulling the alarm was a smart move...
Finch told ABC News she also heard that yet another student helped subdue the assailant.]