Education

15-year-old Florida school shooting hero, Anthony Borges blames sheriff, superintendent

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A student gravely wounded while saving his classmates’ lives by blocking a door during the Florida school massacre said Friday that the county sheriff and school superintendent failed the victims by not arresting the shooter before the attack and by allowing him to attend the school.

An attorney for 15-year-old Anthony Borges read a statement from him during a news conference criticizing Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and Superintendent Robert Runcie for the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that killed 14 students and three staff members.

Borges was shot five times, suffering wounds to the lungs, abdomen and legs. He was released from a Fort Lauderdale hospital Wednesday morning, the last of the 17 wounded to go home.

Borges, too weak to talk, sat silently in a wheelchair with his right leg propped up. His statement specifically attacked the Promise program, a school district and sheriff office initiative that allows students who commit minor crimes on campus to avoid arrest if they complete rehabilitation. Runcie has said shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz, a former Stoneman Douglas student, was never in the program, but Borges and his attorney, Alex Arreaza, said school and sheriff’s officials knew Cruz was dangerous.

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Deputies received at least a dozen calls about Cruz, 19, over the years and he spent two years in a school for children with emotional and disciplinary problems before being allowed to transfer to Stoneman Douglas. Last year, records show, he was forced to leave after incidents — other students said he abused an ex-girlfriend and fought her new boyfriend. Weeks before the shooting, both the FBI and the sheriff’s office received calls saying Cruz could become a school shooter but took no action.

Runcie and Israel “failed us students, teachers and parents alike on so many levels,” Arreaza read for Borges, who sat next to his father, Roger. “I want all of us to move forward to end the environment that allowed people like Nikolas Cruz to fall through the cracks. You knew he was a problem years ago and you did nothing. He should have never been in school with us.”

Arreaza said the family supports the efforts by Stoneman Douglas students David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez and others to end gun violence but may not always agree with their methods. Borges is a U.S. citizen born to Venezuelan immigrants.

Arreaza said that although Borges’ father, a maintenance worker, appreciates that people consider his son a hero for protecting classmates, he believes such talk detracts from the serious message that action must be taken to stop school shootings.

“He doesn’t want there to be anymore bubblegum hero stuff,” Arreaza said.

Anthony Borges visited Stoneman Douglas for the first time since the shooting Thursday but said in his statement that he is scared to return, fearing there could be more violence.

More than $830,000 has been raised for him in online donations, but Arreaza said his medical bills will likely exceed $1.5 million. The family plans to file a lawsuit soon against Cruz, the estate of his late mother and a family that housed him before the shooting. Under state law, the family can’t sue the school district and sheriff’s office until a six-month waiting period expires in August.

The sheriff’s office and school district did not return after-hours calls and emails Friday seeking comment.

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Education

Five corpers kidnapped on way to camp in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States

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On Wednesday, unknown gunmen kidnapped five members of the National Youth Service Corps who were travelling to their orientation camps in Akwa Ibom and Rivers states. Two other passengers on the bus conveying the corps members were also kidnapped.

 

The fresh graduates and the other victims were travelling from Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to Rivers and Akwa Ibom states where they were billed to undertake their three-week NYSC orientation, when they kidnapped on the Owerri-Port Harcourt Expressway and taken to the Umuapu forest in the Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.

 

Briefing journalists after the victims were rescued by the police, the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Imo State Police Command, Dasuki Galadanchi, said the kidnappers established contact with the families of the corps members and demanded N5m ransom. The CP gave the names of the corps members as Abiola Temitope, Olubisi Adekanmi, Jose Temitayo, Folarin Opeyemi and Shonibare Ademola.

 

Other victims were identified as Leonard Uzondu and Raymond Ojodahe. The CP said, “The victims were travelling from Ibadan to Port Harcourt. Five out of the seven of them are prospective corps members. They were on their way to the NYSC orientation camps in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states for the three weeks camping.

 

“They were kidnapped around 5am on Wednesday at Umuapu, on the Owerri-Port-Harcourt Expressway. The kidnappers took them to a forest and dispossessed them of all their belongings, including money, phones, ATM cards and voter cards. They compelled them to call their relatives at home to speak to them. Immediately contact was established, they instilled fear in the parents and demanded N5m for their freedom.”

 

The CP explained that through intelligence gathering, the operatives of the Counter Terrorism Unit of the command were alerted.  He said, “The operatives went into the bush and on sighting the officers, the kidnappers abandoned their victims and fled. We rescued them unhurt, but the hoodlums made away with their valuables. This is part of the dividends of community policing. I urge Imo State residents to keep sharing information with the police. We cannot do it alone.”

 

Galadanchi said he had ordered investigation into the incident with a view to arresting the fleeing suspects.  One of the victims, Abiola, said, “They stopped our bus and ordered us at gunpoint to follow them into the forest. They were five with guns and machetes.

 

“In the bush, they took our belongings except our credentials and ordered us to call our parents. They made a demand of N5m, but they later brought it down to N3m. They ordered us to close our eyes. They were even quarrelling on how to share our personal belongings which they took from us. It was in the process that the police intervened and they abandoned us and ran away.”

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Education

Police arrest 2 girls who were allegedly plotting to kill classmates in ritual

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Two Florida middle school students were arrested on Tuesday after they allegedly planned to murder their classmates as a part of a violent satanic ritual that involved drinking their victims’ blood, police said.

Authorities at Bartow Middle School in Bartow, Florida, said two girls — ages 11 and 12 — were about to carry out the deadly ritual on Tuesday afternoon. A staff member, however, caught them hiding in a school bathroom with several weapons, according to police.

Investigators said the girls had a goblet, knives and several other weapons. When asked to explain the items, the girls told the school principal they were planning to murder at least 15 classmates who entered the restroom as a part of the ritual, according to Bartow Police Chief Joe Hall.

They were allegedly waiting for “smaller kids” that they could easily overpower and kill, Hall told “Good Morning America.”

“They had a strong belief in satanism and they believed the more people they killed the faster they would go to hell,” Hall said. “They were looking for easy targets that they could attack with little or no resistance.”

Authorities did not disclose many details about the juvenile suspects. But police said they’d been planning the ritual since the past weekend. They were both charged with conspiracy to commit murder and it was unclear if they had obtained lawyers.

“There was essentially no reaction from either of these two girls. They were not happy. They were not sad,” Hall said. “I would describe them as carefree and nonchalant about the process.”

Investigators said they recovered text messages in which the girls allegedly discussed the details of the attack. They intended to eat the victims’ flesh, place their body parts by the school’s front entrance and kill themselves once it was over, police said.

“I can’t say that I’ve ever seen anything like this,” Hall said. “The fact is that we had other students that heard a rumor and reported that information.”

The school said it had beefed up security ahead of the horrifying discovery.

As a precautionary measure, extra law enforcement officers would be on campus this week.

There were no injuries reported as a result of the thwarted plot, officials said.

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Education

Liberian students celebrate as President George Weah declares Education is free at Public Universities (Video)

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There was massive celebration at the University of Liberia as President George Weah  declared that the university and all other public universities in the country tuition-free.

The 52-year-old made the announcement today during his visit to the University of Liberia and also took to his Facebook page to announce the news to the world.

 

After making the joyful announcement, the president also promised that he would make University education free in the country and make Liberia an example to other African nations.

In a statement made on his official Facebook page, the president wrote: “Today, I am excited to announce that I have declared the University of Liberia and all other public universities in Liberia Tuition-free for all undergraduates.”

Watch the announcent video below.

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