Cedar Creek High School in Galloway Township, N.J., is a special magnet school which focuses on engineering and environmental sciences, with special hands-on learning.
But when a teacher saw a drawing of “what appeared to be weapons” in a 16-year-old student’s notebook the week after the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., she alerted school administrators, who called in the police.
Responding officers determined the boy “demonstrated behavior that caused them to be concerned,” and brought in the Egg Harbor City police, search dogs from the Hamilton Township Police Department, the Atlantic City Police Department, the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Department, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department, the Millville Police Department, the Salem County Sheriff’s Department, the Atlantic City Police Department’s Bomb Squad, the Oceanville Fire Department, and Galloway EMS to search the boy’s house.
There, they found “electronic parts” and “several types of chemicals that when mixed together could cause an explosion,” according to investigators.
The boy was arrested on charges of possession of an explosive device, even though those chemicals were not mixed together, and even though Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District Superintendent Steve Ciccariellos said the boy was not in “conflict” with any student or teacher; police admitted the boy didn’t threaten anyone, and there was “no indication he was making a bomb, or using a bomb, or detonating a bomb,” Police Chief Pat Moran said, adding the boy cooperated fully with investigators.
Ciccariellos praised the teacher for having “the sense to report it to school officials,” and now that the boy is in juvenile detention, it’s “business as usual” at the school, and by the way, even without the Connecticut shooting being so fresh in the news, “we would have handled this exactly the same way.”
(RC/Press of Atlantic City)