Student arrested for making a Counter Strike map of his school


A Clements High School senior was arrested for being a terrorist threat after parents complained he'd created a computer game map of his school for use as a mod in an online game. One article says police found and seized "five swords" the boy had at his home, as well as a hammer.

From an article on the subject:

"The map the boy designed mimicked Clements High School. And, sources said, it was uploaded either to the boy's home computer or to a computer server where he and his friends could access and play on it. Two parents apparently learned from their children about the existence of the game, and complained to FBISD administrators, who investigated.

'They arrested him,' Chen said of FBISD police, 'and also went to the house to search.' The Lin family consented to the search, and a hammer was found in the boy's room, which he used to fix his bed, because it wasn't in good shape, Chen said. He indicated police seized the hammer as a potential weapon.

'They decided he was a terroristic threat,' said one source close to the district's investigation.

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oh, yes, the institutional madness grows.

First of all, I think this is a gross over-reaction on behalf of everyone involved.

[Rant on]In a world where sometimes things happen that are "not good", public (and in some cases private) institutions have created blanket policies for things that have no business being blanketed. Kids are suspended and expelled under "Zero-tolerance" regulations for bringing nail clippers and 1" long (action figure scale) toy rifles to their schools. Similar Zero-tolerance laws have kids expelled for aspirin and midol. Just for my personal rant, what were the previous policies? Four-tolerance weapons policies? It's a buzzword no one with any authority seems to comprehend. Don't get me wrong, I realize that nail clippers are the third leading cause amongst american youth and that aspirin can lead to use of harder drugs such as sudafed and immodium.

Call me old fashioned, but in my day officials had more than a thimble-full of sense. Each. I recall a classmate crushing up aspirin, during Spanish class. The teacher asked what he was doing, then watched him snort it, then laughed with the rest of the class as he complained about the burning in his nose.
I would guess that 30% of the males in my rural high school carried pocket knives on a daily basis. I do realize that in some schools, knives are a serious threat, and I don't mean to make light of gang problems facing many of our schools, but to be honest, its the old "if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns" argument. These Zero-tolerance weapons policies have not stopped one killer. Consider this case. Joe has been picked on by Bob for many years. Jow wants to kill Bob. Joe gets a gun and then says, "Wait a minute, I'll get into trouble if I take this gun to school". Is Joe stupid enough to think that he WON'T get into trouble for killing Bob? Or does he realize that he will be expelled for the time he is in jail. As a side note, I'd be willing to bet that "Drug free school zone" signs do nothing to prevent drugs from entering the area.
[Rant off]

Suppose an art student has been given an assignment, along with all his classmates, to cunstruct a model. Some student build model cars, or doll houses, but one ambitios student builds a scale replica of his school, with removable layers so one can see the insides of the building. The widows and doors open and close and maybe there are some model railroad people inside. Does this kid get an A for phenomenal effort, exacting detail, etc, or does he go to jail for being a terroristic threat. This student did the same thing, except ina digital format, on his own.

I have not seen anything that mentioned what game this was being used with, but there were no guns in his home, only swords and a hammer. If he had designed this for Splinter Cell (or something similar, help me I'm nearly clueless) and had been found with a stack of guns and ammo, maybe I could see this as an issue, but the "weapons they found in his home were swords and a hammer. Did he design this for the ever popular and hopefully ficticious "Hammer and Sword" FPS? And then use this module as a training center for his proposed terror attack, the primary use for hammers?

There have been allegations that this may have been something of a publicity stunt for certain members of the school board, but if any of them are stupid enough to think theres an up-side to this debate (there isn't) I hope theire constituents are smart enough to oust them.

Now, I'm going out to my garage to clean my hammers, knives, saws, axe and screwdrivers, with the ammonia, bleach, diesel fuel and fertilizer that can also be found there. I'll be wearing my army issue camouflage, a black trechcoat and cool sunglasses. See you all at Gitmo.

The game it was made for was Counter Strike...which makes it even more ironic in that it's a game with an anti-terrorist slant. Sure sure...some of the players take the roles of the terrorists since it's team based and all the players can't be good guys.

Still...if that school *does* get attacked by "terrorists" they've just expelled the one kid that has practiced fending them off.

Even assuming he made up the game in some kind of mock-Columbine situation, that doesn't mean he wanted to do it in real life.

Fantasies about killing teachers have been around a long time. I was in elementary school in the days of Atari, but we had

Glory, Glory Hallelujah,
Teacher hit me with a ruler,
Hid behind the door with a loaded .44
And then the teacher was no more.

There was also a stanza that mentioned "torturing every teacher and broken every rule". It was just a funny song, not something I actually wanted to do.

Whutaguy, while I do agree with your assessment of over-reaction (see my first post), I have to say I disagree with your sentiment of "let people carry knives and guns around, it makes no difference."

It makes a HUGE difference. While it's true that if some kid plans to murder another, he could always wait outside school to stab him, the mere fact that he doesn't have a knife available prevents its drawing it in the heat of an argument and an unnecessary, unplanned stabbing. You may say that it didn't happen to you while you were in school, but I know of enough such instances (not in school per se) to make it seem worthwhile to me.

In addition, I believe that the lower the accessibility of guns, the better. I don't know about the US, but here most gun-related deaths are accidents. This means Less guns = less deaths. Moreover, looking at the argument of "only outlaws have guns", it doesn't appear that bad to me. Citizens (especially untrained ones) with guns are dangerous to themselves and to others, and they might also make crooks scared and jumpy, and that can cause (and has caused) additional injuries and death. Again, Less guns = Less deaths.
Personally, I think it's enough for the authorities to carry arms (and even that is not always true, see british cops), but I know Americans' sensibilities are funny that way.

I think you mistook what I said. I said most boys carried pocket knives. Not that it was ok to carry guns to school. My point was that "Zero-tolerance" is a buzzword that was too readily implemented without consideration for the stupidity undertaken in living up to that policy.
As far as availability of guns, I am a strong believer in what the American founding father were thinking when giving the right to bear arms. That is, everyone has the right to bear a muzzle-loading long arm. Gun control is being able to hit your target and if you need more than one bullet, maybe hunting isn't your sport (as far as hunting being a sport, thats a different rant).
My belief is that policies regarding dangerous objects (weapons, drugs, etc) is that the school administrators and teachers should be allowed to use their judgement with regard to danger, intent, and appropriateness. Schools are still subject to the local, state and federal laws with regard to carrying firearms, larger knives, fireworks, drugs, etc. and I think that students in violation of these laws should be sentenced as adults.
Now this kid may have difficulty getting into a college, or certain jobs because someone thought he might be a terroristic threat. Before you say that he won't be condemned for this, consider the situation of the 3 Duke University lacrosse players.
As far as my "let people carry guns and knives makes no difference" my point was that if a student is bent on shooting up the place, or killing someone, a schools policy against guns will not stop him/her any more than the LAW against killing does. Thats like suggesting bak robbers might stop at every light and use their turn signal as the flee at posted speeds becasue they don't want to get a ticket - ON TOP OF GOING TO JAIL. If your plan is to kill as many as possible, then kill yourself, no policy will deter you, meanwhile action figure rifles and nail clippers are getting students suspended.
I am aware of the English cops being armed with a stick and a whistle and have boatloads of respect for them. I also know german police carry submachine guns and have no police brutality laws which I also respect.

Should Alice Cooper go to jail? Sounds like a plan to me.

School's out for summer
School's out forever
School's been blown to pieces

Why not? He's gone to hell already, jail should be a breeze!

Stories like this make me feel lucky I am not a student in this day and age. I have a feeling I'd be in all sorts of trouble.

If Alice Cooper was deserving of jail, imagine what Shakespeare would have ended up with.

Yeah, I know what ya mean. I actually attend a high school (for the next 3 weeks. Then I'm done!) that probably has the biggest reputation for gang violence and whatnot in the state. When travelling to compete in athletic or other activities, people often are surprised when they find out I am a student of this school, and the first question people usually ask is "Don't you guys have gun shootouts like every day?" I always laugh. I've never feared for my life a single day of attending this school, and I honestly don't know where the reputation comes from.

The interesting thing about my high school is that it's student body contains people from all walks of life. We have kids from ghettos and kids from nob hill, most of them lumped somewhere around the middle. Something like 45% of our student body is of Mexican descent. Going off of stereotypes which I don't believe, doesn't that just scream "poster child for gang violence and drug abuse"?

And yet, we've never had any real problems like that. Yeah, we have the occasional once or twice a year in which the police bring the drug dogs in (what high school doesn't?), and two white-as-can-be kids set off some smoke bombs as a senior prank last year, but other than that, we've had no real on-campus issues. Two years ago we had a kid who was suspended because he had an airsoft gun IN THE PARKING LOT. This was a kid with no prior behavior problems, was a student body officer, and had left this gun in his truck over the weekend and laughingly pulled it out to show one of his friends in the parking lot. The cameras caught him on tape flashing this obviously toy gun for less than 2 minutes, and suspended him for something like two weeks. He served out his sentence, laughing all the way, and threw a "Back to School BBQ" tailgate party during lunch on his first day back.

In short, the kids that are involved with gangs are generally smart enough to take it outside. Yeah, I could get my hands on drugs if I wanted to, but I really would like to avoid messing up my life like that.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that while gun and other weapons control is a noble effort, people are going to be people no matter what you do. How does the saying go? Guns don't kill people, people kill people? While I agree that weaponry certainly makes violence easier to accomplish, those that want to be violent will be, regardless of what tools they have to accomplish the job. Yes, schools should be kept safe from even the threat of such violence, but somehow I don't see anyone trying to kill a fellow student with nail clippers when it would be just as easy to hide a knife in your underwear.

Yeah, if I saw a map of my alma mater for a FPS, I would laugh, play with it, and never comtemplate actually storming my high school with an intent to kill. I'm sure that this kid just thought it would be funny to play a FPS match set in his high school.

Yeah, so why is it that a kid gets arrested for something like this, while games such as "Bully" and "Grand Theft Auto" sold freely, and not considered to be contributing to the rise of violence in this modern world?

Yeh, people are dumb.

When I was in high school I was suspended because I wore a trenchcoat before and after the Columbine killings took place. Although I bitched and moaned and complained about the whole thing, the fact of the matter is that the first and most important role that teachers have is the health and safety of their students.

So he made a map of his school in a counter-strike mod, so what? Well, good thing it wasn't Doom, right? Then we'd have some parallels that seem to match up to a prior catastrophe, which is what every school shooting is -- it is a blow to the notion that we are a functioning society with morals and ideals about the freedom of its citizens.

Perhaps a pre-emptive strike doesn't seem like it supports the ideal of freedom, especially when the student in question did not do anything necessarily wrong, but think about it like this: suppose he did harbor some thoughts about mass murder or staging some sort of high profile destruction on his school. Then people would be up in arms about that: "He created a map of his school in a first person shooter, my god, why didn't we see this coming?"

Because we live in a world where chaos is commonplace and we have absolutely no control over our future or even our present. And so sometimes the government wants to show a little control, and they have and most likely have gone far, far into the deep end of showing that control but we gave them the right to do so.

A) The school is not The Government.
B) While your explanation may have some merit, it is global in nature while this reaction only happens in the US.
C) I'm confused. How did wearing a trenchcoat get you suspended?

Some interesting thoughts, relliott, but I tend to disagree with you on a few points.

Firstly, the entire judicial branch of American government was based around a single idea, that it would be better for ten guilty men to go free than for one innocent man to be wrongfully punished. That's why a when a jury cannot reach a complete verdict in a criminal case, a mistrial is declared and the defendant walks free. That's why arguements such as "he was the only one who could have done it" are inadmissable in court.

Have you ever seen the film 12 Angry Men? I'm talking the old black and white flick starring Henry Fonda, not the crappy new miniseries remake. If you haven't, I highly highly recommend you do.The entire movie takes place within a single room in which a jury is meeting to determine a verdict for a murder case. In the beginning of the film, Henry Fonda's character casts his vote for the verdict as "not guilty" not becuase he is convinced the defendant is innocent, but rather because he simply doesn't know whether the defendant is guilty or not.

What I'm saying here is that the government didn't have "proof beyond a shadow of a doubt" that this boy was going to take a gun to school, and therefore no right to accuse this boy of such an act. He didn't even own a gun, for heaven's sake. And citing the ownership of "five swords and a hammer" as proof of his intent? Come on, how many people do you know that have weapons collections at home and never even think of pulling on on another person?

Let's use some common sense, guys. As a friend of mine often points out, it is astounding how common sense simply isn't common anymore.

I am a former Police Officer and speficially school liaison officer at a Junior High School. I agree that the problems of today with school violence are way past where they were when I was in school.

With that being said, on a weekly basis I would take Junior High School out in handcuffs for fighting. When I was a kid fighting was not all that big of a deal.

I can tell you that at the Junior High level many kids were taking and dealing drugs, and drinking alcohol somewhat regularly, especially the popular kids. We even had a girl give blowjob to a another student, while on the bus, going on a field trip, with the Principal on board.

My reason for telling all of this is that kids today are growing up way too fast and are having adult problems when they're just not ready for them. I think this leads to violemce and wanting to slash out towards society in some way.

That is completly idiotic. Glad I don't live in the US

OMG I was about to make a map of my school in CSS. Glad I read this. I now have a bigger fear of being arrested than being shot.

lol. i made skins of my teachers and classmates lol.
i also made a map of the white house and made a skin of g.bush for the hostages.
also made a map called assasinate the presedent.
its fun....

Its a goddam counter strike map, for Christ's sake. You have to get ideas from somewhere to create maps, and I don't think he could really hurt anyone while shooting with his goddam M249 on a goddam school map. I think it really stinks, release the boy...

If I were in high school today, I would definitely be on the "watch-list", and with good reason. I was VOLATILE!

I would argue that we waste too much time worrying about the kids who are having sex, and not nearly enough time worrying about the kids who are morbidly-obsessed. The quiet, reclusive, volatile child is typically ignored by educators. I think this has something to do with the fact that most teachers were active and engaged high school students. They don't "get" the weird kids and have trouble empathizing with them. The volitile child, who is often quite intelligent, can see straight through phony empathy.

In my experience, the kids who were having sex were typically doing ok, at least socially, and teachers were able to approach them. These kids were always the teachers' pet projects. "If only I could get through to Missy before she drops out and gets pregnant!" Sure, the sexually active kids were poor students and poorly disciplined, but they weren't really the academically-inclined types anyway.

On the other hand, many of the emotionally volatile, and perhaps even violent, children have enormous intellectual promise. They are just angry and the lack an outlet for their anger. They are lashing out at a system that they feel is unfair and they are all fucked up by the confusing hormones of youth. The Columbine shooters were smart kids and everyone knew it. But for them, school was a prison sentence. It wasn't a nurturing environment. It wasn't an environment that spoke to their interests. It was an environment where they felt oppressed, picked on, neglected. Combine that with an unhappy home-life, and you have the recipe for a teenage sociopath.

I know this because I could have been one of them. If I had a gun when I was a teenager, God only knows what I would have done with it. I was definitely suicidal, and blamed others for my depression, so it wasn't beyond my teenage ethics to want to take them out with me if I ever decided to call it quits. I could honestly tell you I didn't learn a single thing in high school. Not one thing. Every test was bullshit. Every day was bullshit. In my opinion, it was a prison for the innocent.

But ya know, I bared through it. After high school I felt so free. I never had to sit in the same room with any of those people that caused me pain ever again. I was free to study what I wanted, in the manor that suited my learning style. I graduated cum laude from University. I went on to Grad school. I got a high paying job in the creative industry. I'd even go so far as to say I've turned into a hippy peace-nik.

I think about the school shooters all the time. I think about how my life could have ended like theirs. And I feel so sad. Because I know how all those kids really needed was a change of scenery, some control over their own lives, an environment that was not condescending, and challenges worthy of their intellect.

I don't know how this relates to the kids who programmed their school into Counterstrike, but it sounds to me like they were pretty bright. Unfortunately, all this public scrutiny is going to have terrible repercussions on them for the rest of their lives. In the age of Google, these kids are going to have to answer for this lapse of judgement in every interview, in every social network. I think they are going to end up wasting their lives away at McDonalds or Walmart. And I wouldn't be surprised if one day, they do lash out.

Dude If you could get away with making assassinate the president maps then why should anyone get into trouble for making a school map, i mean i think i'd be cool to run around a vurtal world that resembles something that i know!

I used to make counter-strike maps, and one way you get good at familiarizing yourself with the program is to make a map of a familar setting , Your house, your backyard, your school, your church, whatever.

its practise for utilizing the map making tool

its more likely he created the map for fun , playing on the computer , and learning the map making software.

i really doubt anyone would make a cs map , to help plot any terrorist activities, it just takes to much time and its not to scale with real life.

ie. i think people over reacted, they should check and see if he has any other maps on his computer lol

if he has like zero , other maps, ok then maybe thats not a good sign

but it he has 5-10 or more other small maps of random crap he made, then maybe he just wants to be agood mapper