American Teenager Arrested for Attempted High School Bombing

June 28, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. blow up [BLOH uhp] (phrasal v.) – to cause to explode
Example: Terrorists blew up the commercial building, causing death and destruction.

2. timeline [tahym lahyn] (n.) – a schedule of events and activities in chronological order
ExampleThe police secretary drafted a timeline of the precinct’s upcoming activities.

3. juvenile [JOO-vuh-nl, -nahyl] (adj.) – relating to children or young people
ExampleThe juvenile crime involved a 16-year-old suspect.

4. shudder [SHUHD-er] (v.) – to shake or tremble as a result of fear
ExampleTyler shudders when he thinks about the accident in his school last month.

5. get over  [get OH-ver] (phrasal v.) – to forget or recover from something
ExampleSupport from the family can help victims of disasters get over their grief and shock.


Read the text below.
The police from Oregon arrested a 17-year-old student after planning to blow up his high school with homemade explosive devices.

The police had earlier received a tip that Grant Acord was making a bomb to blow up West Albany High School. Soon after, the authorities searched his house and the school for explosive devices.

In Acord’s bedroom, the police found six explosive devices, including pipe bombs, Molotov [MOL-uh-tawf] cocktails, and a napalm [NEY-pahm] bomb. Investigators also found written plans, a checklist, and a specific timeline for the attack. On the other hand, the authorities found no bombs after searching the school twice.

The authorities took Acord to a juvenile jail but will charge him as an adult. Among the charges are attempted murder and six counts of producing and possessing a destructive device. The police will file the court paperwork and the details of Acord's plans after the Memorial Day weekend.

According to Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson, Acord did not seem to have any major problems at school. Also, the 17-year-old student did not appear to be targeting any specific person or group of people. Haroldson added that the authorities will closely examine Acord's mental health issues because of his video game approach to killing people at his school.

Haroldson said he cannot get over the fact that the authorities were able to stop the boy. Given the evidence in the case, Haroldson shudders to think about what could have happened if authorities were not able to intervene.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think playing violent video games can cause a person to be violent in real life? Why or why not?
·         What can parents and teachers do to prevent children from being violent? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Are the police in your country effective at solving crimes and protecting the citizens? Why do you say so?
·         What do you think society will be like without policemen and other law enforcers? Please explain briefly.


June 28, 2013