18-year-old man (still in ninth grade) one of two arrested in plan to chain school closed, shoot students

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HOUSTON, TX – Law Enforcement officials in Texas allegedly became aware of a planned mass shooting that was orchestrated by an 18-year-old ninth grader and another student and was able to stop it before it happened.

Both the young man and the juvenile were arrested during the investigation.

Court records recently released a report two different students, Cornell Santell Thomas, an 18-year-old ninth grader, and Damian Arias, 17 years old, allegedly came up with a plot to shoot up their school, Madison High.

When the two were confronted by members of law enforcement, they allegedly confessed to planning to shoot as many people as possible in the school.

Both Thomas and Arias were taken into custody and charged with making a terroristic threat.

When Thomas appeared in front of the judge on September 16th for his probable cause hearing, details of the plot were read by the judge:

“Alright, obviously, this is a case with alleged facts that raise serious concerns about the safety of the public.

What, frankly, disturbs me about these alleged facts is we all have seen lots of cases where kids in school say things, make alleged threats, etc. but it seems in this case that Mr. Thomas and Mr. Arias both made statements to the police that seemed to indicate, and I’ll quote here that ‘Damian Arias admitted that he was going to shoot up the school and doing it on Friday during lunchtime.”

The judge then highlighted that Thomas admitted to planning the attack while Arias intended to steal a firearm from his uncle which would be used to perform the mass shooting. The judge said:

“They were going to bring it [the gun] to school Friday and do it during lunch because that’s when there were two police officers in the cafeteria. The plan was to lock the exit doors, chain the exit doors and trap everyone inside the school.”

After the judge was done with both probable cause hearings, he assigned a $70,000 bond for Thomas and a $50,000 bond for Arias. Both young men are currently being held in the Harris County Jail.

The judge then decided to set permissions for Thomas should he be able to bond out before his case goes to trial. The judge stipulated that he not return to the school among other requirements. He said:

“I don’t want him going back to school, not to that school, and frankly, I doubt that Madison High School has a plan in place to take him back.”

In addition to not being allowed back in the school, if Thomas were to get bonded out, he will be ordered to wear a GPS monitor, which must be placed on him within three days of his release.

He will also be given a court-issued curfew of 6 p.m. and not allowed to leave his home before 5:30 a.m.

The judge ordered Thomas not to have any contact with Arias or possess any type of real or play firearm. Additionally, he is not allowed to possess ammunition or other items that would make a firearm functional.

When it comes to Arias, the judge was given the same bond requirements as Thomas if he were to be able to bond out before the case goes to trial.

Additionally, Arias will be placed on house arrest which means if he were to leave his house for any reason, he will be arrested and held until his case goes to trial.

Fox 26 reached out to Houston ISD, the school district for the area, who would not comment directly on the incident as it is an ongoing investigation. However, they released the following statement:

“HISD takes these situations very seriously, as the safety of students and staff is our top priority. However, due to an ongoing HISD Police investigation and the Family Education Right’s Privacy Act (FERPA), we are unable to provide additional details regarding this matter.”

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Survey: Americans overwhelmingly support arming teachers to stop school shootings

UNITED STATES – Rasmussen Reports has released data from a new national survey showing that by a 49 percent-to-37 percent margin, Americans support armed teachers to stop school shootings.

This is a significant change from the February 28, 2018 survey, where Americans opposed teachers being armed by a 43 percent-to-48 percent margin.

In the 2018 survey, adults with children were more likely than adults without children to support armed teachers, a 59-percent-to-54 percent margin.

The latest survey provides an even larger gap, 57-percent-to-44 percent margin for people with children at home.

YouGov survey from earlier in the year showed a nearly identical result. That survey, which was conducted from May 28th to May 31st, surveyed 1,500 United States adult citizens.

According to that survey, Americans except for Democrats, liberals, and blacks favor arming teachers and administrators in schools. Young people between ages 18 and 19 were evenly divided.

 

In the aftermath of the mass school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a poll conducted by the Trafalgar Group, in conjunction with Convention of States Action (COSA), found that 57.5 percent of likely 2022 general election voters believe schools are somewhat or much more dangerous without teachers who carry a gun and are properly trained in using it.

The poll’s consensus was bipartisan, with 67.5 percent of Republicans and 48.2 percent of Democrats favoring schools having armed teachers.

The greatest support for arming teachers came from adults aged 18-24, with 62 percent of that age group saying stopping teachers from having firearms in schools made school much more dangerous.

The poll surveyed 1,091 United States adults who are likely to vote in the upcoming November midterm elections. It was conducted between May 25th and May 29th; it held a 2.9 percentage point margin of error.

COSA President Mark Meckler said in a statement to the Daily Wire:

“No shooting at a school is going to be stopped by gun control laws. They are going to be stopped by a variety of fairly simple on-site measures, including arming law-abiding citizens. In this case, specifically teachers and empowering them to protect our children, schools and communities.”

 

He added:

“A majority of voters see this clearly, despite the relentless propaganda by people who want to confiscate the guns of law-abiding citizens.”

Meckler said:

“Self-defense is a bedrock of this Republic and our Constitution. The Founders were clear that defending those we love is the responsibility of the citizen first.

So many deaths have been prevented by armed citizens, so why would we question the voluntary training and arming of teachers to protect those we love and care for the most?”

According to reports, between May 28th and May 21st, an Economist/YouGov poll found that 51 percent agree with the statement that “school shootings are a mental health problem, not a guns problem.”

In light of taking potential gun control measures to protect schools, 62 percent of respondents said that they are in favor of having armed guards stationed at all schools.

Data from the survey also showed that 51 percent of respondents said that they support giving teachers and school administrators the “option of being armed at school.”

School mass shootings have prompted nationwide calls for stricter gun control. However, the Economist/YouGov poll showed that Americans are almost evenly divided on whether harsher gun laws would have prevented any of the recent mass shootings from happening.

According to the data, 41 percent of respondents said that stricter gun laws would have prevented the shootings, while 40 percent said they wouldn’t have. Eighteen percent said they are not sure.

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