I was born in New Orleans Louisiana but I was raised in a town just across the lake from there called Slidell which is in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. About 20 miles from Slidell is a town called Mandeville which is normally a quiet community but it seems to be in the news today.

Apparently St. Tammany Sheriff deputies have arrested three 15 year old boys and charged them with conspiracy to commit terrorism after they prevented a plan for a possible attack on the local school, Lakeshore High School, in Mandeville on Monday.

Monday was the first day of school in St. Tammany Parish and according to the reports the plan was to start shooting on that day. Fortunately deputies were tipped off about the teens plan on July 17 when school officials notified the Sheriff’s office of a group that called themselves “Day Zero” and that the members of the group were all students at the high school.

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain said, “We should all be very thankful for the incredible partnership the Sheriff’s office shares with Superintendent Trey Folse and the leadership within the school system. Were it not for this alert administrator, we may have faced a very tragic first day of the school-year.” He clearly credits school officials for their help in preventing a potentially deadly event.

Once the investigation began they determined the validity of the threat and identified several of the students that were members of the group. While interviewing the students they didn’t bother denying being members nor of their being involved in the plans. They admitted what the group’s intentions were. All three of the boys cooperated during the investigation.

Details of the group’s plans were to get weapons and bring them to school on Monday. They planned to kill and law enforcement officials that were at the school if they attempted to stop them from carrying out their plan. There was at least one student named as a target in materials collected by the investigators.

The police say all three of the boys turned themselves in to the Sheriff’s deputies after arrest warrants were obtained. The investigators searched the homes of the three boys confiscating computers and other evidence. They are analyzing the computers now for evidence.

This whole thing is heart breaking to know this can go on anywhere. No matter how small a town or community it is that you live in, this proves it can happen to you as well. I fear if this matter hadn’t come out to officials ahead of time I would be writing about a tragic death at a high school involving teenagers. I thank God it was prevented.

Jan Barrett

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