Freedom High School Bomb Plot Thwarted

A Florida teen is in custody after being arrested on suspicion of planning to blow up his school.

Jared Cano Arrested

Jared Cano, 17, who had been expelled from Freedom High School in Tampa, and according to police investigations had collected a mass of pipe bomb making equipment, including fusing and timing devices, shrapnel, plastic tubing and a fuel source. His journal allegedly contained an entry professing the desire to cause more casualties than those killed and injured in the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado. It also allegedly contained detailed drawings of the school, and a minute by minute manifesto detailing the attack, which was supposed to take place next Tuesday, starting at 5 a.m.

Police Tipped Off

Information about Cano’s alleged plot first surfaced on Tuesday, when the police received a tip that he threatened to plant a bomb at the school, targeting 30 students and two school officials, including the Principal. After his mother, who is a Math teacher at another local high school, allowed the police to search the family home, they found the bomb making material and journal. In addition, the police discovered a marijuana operation, complete with plants, grow lights and scales.

Speaking at a news conference, Tampa Chief of Police Jane Castor said: “We were probably able to thwart potentially a catastrophic event the likes of which Tampa has not seen, and hopefully never will.”

Multiple Charges

Jared Cano is facing multiple charges, including possession of bomb-making materials, marijuana cultivation, marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession, and threatening to throw, project, place or discharge a destructive device. He has a prior juvenile record, including charges of burglary, carrying a concealed weapon, drug possession and altering the serial numbers on a firearm.

Court Appearance

At Wednesday’s court hearing, Cano sat with his face in his lap seemingly close to tears. When asked by the judge if his parents were coming, he replied: “I don’t know.” Neither parent attended the hearing.

When asked if he wanted to say anything, the teen replied: “I don’t know”, but when the judge said he could say anything without speaking about his charges, he began to speak: “The plan wasn’t…”

When the public defender tried to stop him from speaking, Cano retorted: “I can talk. I’m allowed to say what I want.” After whispering in her client’s ear, the public defender said: “He has no comment.”

Tipster A “Hero”

The tipster’s identity is being withheld, but that person was praised by Police Chief Castor as a “hero”. She said: “It’s someone who had information and they felt strongly enough to call the Tampa Police Department. Cano is believed to have been acting alone.

High School Attack at Columbine

On April 20th, 1999, Columbine seniors Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris went on a rampage at their High School, killing 12 students and one teacher. 24 more were injured.

Read More: Article

ABC News Story

CNN Article

Wikipedia Entry on Columbine High School massacre

High School Geography Test Results Are In

“All across America every year, there are thousands of students that take Geography placement tests. You need to pass these tests to be able to move on to the next grade, or to even graduate from High School. Facts have shown that over the last couple of years the geography scores for high school seniors have not improved. It seems that High School Seniors are doing well in all other areas of the exams, but they just can’t seem to grasp the U.S. and World History section of the tests. The tests have declined from the 1994 scores, in a dramatic way. The geography test isn’t given every year like other parts of the test, the last time it was given was in 2001.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) gives the same test to both public high school students, and private school students. It is the same test for everybody, so it can’t be broke down by the amount of money that a parent can pay for their children to go to school. The scores are based on a 500 point system, and from 2001-2010 high school seniors had an average score of 284. The score has dropped down to 282, which makes the student average, in the National Assessment of Educational Progress, definition of what a passing grade is.

Why has there been a decline in the test scores? Is it because students just aren’t trying as hard, or has the educational requirements changed where the teaching is concerned? Students don’t learn the same way that they used too in the 1980s, as a lot of teachers are opting to allow students to use online media instead of a paper and pen. In a world where it seems that everything is available at the student’s fingertips as far as learning the material, are they choosing not to learn it, or is the problem a deeper issue? Should you blame your students teachers for their scores dropping?

The educational requirement has changed a bit, as it’s become a bit more challenging as it should as the students get older. Most people think the things on the Senior Geography Test the students should know, yet they may forget the information over time. Who should be blamed for it?”

For more information, click here:

US News and World Report

Students Still Struggle To Grasp World Geography

Students Miss Boat on Geography Tests

U.S. Geography Scores Disappoint

National Report Cards