Monday this week a student at Pine View High School in St. George, Utah, who appears to have been inspired by ISIS, brought a homemade bomb to school with the intention of detonating it in the school’s cafeteria during lunch. Considering the attention on school safety after the Parkland, Florida shooting the media has been relatively quiet on this particular story.
The Salt Lake Tribune, a local media outlet, has the story:
No one was hurt Monday after the backpack was found in a common area of the school by a student who reported it to a teacher.
The boy was arrested and booked into a detention center on charges of manufacture, possession, sale, use or attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, St. George police said in a statement.
No one was hurt, no damage was reported and the school reopened Tuesday morning for classes. Police did not describe the homemade bomb in detail but said it “had the potential to cause significant injury or death.”
“Based on our investigation we can confirm this was a failed attempt to detonate a homemade explosive at the school. It was also determined that the male had been researching information and expressing interest in ISIS and promoting the organization,” police said.
He was also a suspected of raising the ISIS flag on another local school’s flagpole according to The Salt Lake City Tribune.
Nationally, NBC News ran with the AP wire story and mentioned ISIS in the headline. US News and World Report also ran an AP newswire story as did The Washington Post and New York Times with no mention of ISIS in the headline. ABC News also reported on it. CBS News had a report I couldn’t find searching on their website, but using Google and it was a combination of the AP story and reporting from their local affiliate. Fox News provided an original report. Newsweek mentioned he brought a “smoking bomb” into the school making it sound as though it was smoking when he brought it into the school. There’s no such evidence that is the case. It was only noticed because it did start to smoke.
The New York Post ran a story and props to Buzzfeed News for tasking a reporter on the story who attempted to talk to first-hand sources.
I looked for the story in other media outlet websites (searching for “Utah School”) prior to publishing. CNN? Crickets. Oh, but they did have a story about a school in Utah that told students they couldn’t say no when asked to dance. MSNBC? Nothing except for a story of a Utah teacher who shot herself in the leg while at school. Politico? Nope, but they did have a story in 2012 about a Utah student trying to bring a gun into his school. There was nothing, no surprise, at The Huffington Post.
Since no one died I understand that it does not get the attention that the Parkland story would get, but this was a bomb that according to local law enforcement “had the potential to cause significant injury or death.” It was either not reported or under-reported by most of the national media.
Fortunately, the student was incompetent in putting the bomb together.
Had he been caught with an “assault-style” weapon we could be certain there would be a media frenzy because it feeds into the current narrative.
This story in Utah tells me three things:
- No amount of gun control will stop a student who wants to kill his classmates. He will find a way.
- Homegrown ISIS recruitment is still a threat.
- Journalism is dead. The only stories worth reporting on are the ones that fit whatever narrative they want to push.