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The Cold Spring School Shooting

Aaron Rollins was a senior who enjoyed the outdoors. Seth Bartell is a freshman who liked to skateboard and snowboard, quiet but a good kid, according to those who know him. About the only thing Rollins and Bartell had in common was that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time at Rocori High School on Sept. 24, 2003. Officials and teachers said there was no indication that they and John Jason McLaughlin, the 15-year-old suspected of shooting them, were any more than passing acquaintances.

The National Research Council Institute of Medicine published Deadly Lessons: Understanding Lethal School Violence analyzing school shootings in other communities, in a attempt to find common factors. Read the report online and listen to an interview with Katherine Newman, who contributed to that research study. Listen.

What can we do to prevent violence in schools? What can parents, teachers, students, and citizens do to prevent shootings and fatal violence in our schools? If you were to suggest a plan of action, what would it be? More....

Go to story Document Students return to school
Dozens of adults lined the long sidewalk leading into Rocori High School Friday and applauded as students walked to class for the first time since a fatal shooting there on Wednesday.

Go to story Document Freshman charged with shooting
Prosecutors filed a second degree murder charge against 15-year-old Jason McLaughlin on Friday in Stearns County. McLaughlin's lawyer says the state attorney general's office has filed papers to have the boy charged as an adult.

Go to story Document Witnesses tell the story
Giving the first detailed account of the attack, investigators Thursday said the suspect pulled a .22-caliber gun from a gym bag as he walked out of a locker room, then fired two shots, hitting the victims.

Go to story Document The shooting
Churches in the central Minnesota town of Cold Spring held special services to mark the end of a tragic day. A 15-year-old boy shot two of his classmates at Rocori High School around noon. One of the students died, another is in critical condition. Students and teachers in Cold Spring now begin the work of trying to recover.

Go to story Document Friends of McLaughlin think teasing played a part
High School classmates of the 15-year-old accused in the shooting at Ricori High School in Cold Spring say they are still in shock. The classmates and a neighbor say Jason McLaughlin gave no indication that he was capable of violence.

Go to story Document Far from Cold Spring, students shaken by shooting
State law requires school districts to prepare for such violence. School leaders have been busy reviewing those plans today and trying reassure their students.

Go to story Document A struggle to recover
Cold Spring residents have already mourned and buried one of their own, and still grieve over another. Aaron Rollins, 17, was laid to rest Monday and Seth Bartell, 14, is still in critical condition at St. Cloud Hospital. Children and adults are grasping for ways to communicate their feelings.

Go to story Document Parents and kids examine their relationships
Cold Spring is a community where people know each other's business. They're involved in the schools. And even the elderly are connected with teenagers. But feelings have changed with Wednesday's shooting.

Go to story Document Teacher is considered hero
Even at 50, and even under stress, Mark Johnson was intimidating enough to disarm with a shout a high-school freshman who had already allegedly shot two students. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound former football coach was sitting on the bleachers in the Rocori High School gym Wednesday, preparing for his next class when he heard a sound he couldn't tune out.
Document How healing happens
On April 28, 1999, a 14-year old boy killed one student and wounded another at W.R. Myers High School in Taber, Alberta. The suspect had dropped out of school after he was severely ostracized by his classmates. He had over 400 rounds of ammunition on him that day, and he did not have a relationship with his victims. Kevin Cameron is a school counselor in Taber. He led the crisis response team on that day and has since become a national expert on school trauma recovery.

Document Friends ponder what motivated McLaughlin
Listen to an extended interview with the friends of the alleged gunman.

Document The teacher who stopped the shooting
Veteran Rocori teacher Mark Johnson was in the gymnasium at the time of the shooting. Johnson, who's tall and imposing, was talking with students when he heard shots fired.

Document School safety in Minnesota
The National School Safety Center reports that the Cold Spring shooting was the first and only homicide in state history. But it has raised questions about school safety in Minnesota.

Document Did bullying play a part?
Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer spoke with Sheryl Harmer, the director of program development at "Committee for Children," a national nonprofit organization that focuses on violence, bullying, and student learning.

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