WASHINGTON -- The nation's deadliest school shooting in nearly two years prompted new pleas from safety advocates and education officials for adults and students to keep an eye on youths who seem troubled or threaten violence.
On Monday, police in Santee, Calif., said a freshman at Santana High School opened fire in a school bathroom, killing two people and wounding 13. Students and an adult acquaintance said they had heard threats from the 15-year-old suspect over the weekend, but thought he was joking and did not report him to authorities.
The shooting was in stark contrast to recent incidents in at least four other communities, where students reported threats and averted violent episodes at school, authorities said.
Since two students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., killed 12 students, a teacher and themselves in April 1999, authorities have begun taking threats of violence more seriously, asking students to report them to authorities.
Among recent incidents in which classmates alerted authorities about threats at school:
-- In Fort Collins, Colo., students at a high school in January reported two students' plans to re-enact the 1999 Columbine High School massacre on its second anniversary next month.
-- In Hoyt, Kan., an anonymous tip on a hot line last month revealed plans by three heavily armed students to duplicate the Columbine massacre. Authorities said the students had bomb-making materials and an AK-47 assault rifle.
-- In Elmira, N.Y., a student who last month received a note threatening violence passed the note to a teacher. Police found the student in the school cafeteria with a .22-caliber Ruger and a duffel bag containing pipe bombs, a propane bomb and a sawed-off shotgun with several rounds of ammunition.
--In Cupertino, Calif., a De Anza Community College freshman working as a photo lab worker called police in January when she noticed that pictures of a fellow student contained shots of him posing with an arsenal of pipe bombs and firearms. Police said the student had planned a shooting rampage for the following day.
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