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School to reopen after explosives search

NEW BEDFORD, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Police said Sunday a high school can reopen Monday after officers and bomb-sniffing dogs found no explosives or anything else related to an alleged plot to kill students and faculty.

The search of the 3,300-student New Bedford High School was carried out after a janitor discovered a letter detailing a Columbine-like massacre, according to police.

Fifteen people died in the rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, on April 20 1999, including the teen-age gunmen, who committed suicide. It was the nation's bloodiest school shooting.

The letter "explicitly outlined an event that would occur on a Monday," police said. The Columbine massacre was on a Tuesday.

The letter said the attack would involve "explosives or the use of explosives, weapons and injuring or killing students and faculty," police said. Authorities also found photos of people posing with weapons.

Three students, two of them juveniles, were arrested Saturday. The third suspect was identified as 17-year-old Eric McKeehan. Under Massachusetts law, juveniles are defined as being between the ages of 8 and 16.

The suspects were scheduled to be arraigned Monday. Police held out the possibility of more arrests.

Police said the search of six sections of the school was carried out by teams involving eight Massachusetts state police, 30 New Bedford police officers and five sniffer dogs.

Teachers said an investigation has been under way since mid-October, when a student told a faculty member about that students were planning an attack.

"But I felt safe that the administration and the New Bedford police department were looking into it," teacher Diane Robinson said.

A veteran teacher at the school said nothing surprises him anymore.

"I'm convinced you're not going to straighten out these situations until you straighten out the home life," he said. "Once you straighten out the home, you straighten out the schools."


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