Site of Amish Schoolhouse Shooting Razed

The Pennyslvania schoolhouse that was the site of a brutal shooting spree ten days ago was bulldozed and removed this morning.

Workers with heavy machinery rather than hand tools moved in before dawn Thursday and demolished the one-room Amish schoolhouse where a gunman fatally shot five girls and wounded five others.

Photo Site of Amish Schoolhouse Shooting Razed The Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pa., where a gunman shot 10 girls last week, killing five of them, is demolished by private contractors before dawn Thursday, Oct. 12, 2006. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) Construction lights glared in the mist as a large backhoe tore into the overhang of the school’s porch around 4:45 a.m., then knocked down the bell tower and toppled the walls. Within 15 minutes, the building was reduced to a pile of rubble. By 7:30 a.m., the debris was gone, leaving just a bare patch of earth.

The schoolhouse had been boarded up since the killings 10 days earlier, with classes moved to a nearby farm. “I thought there was widespread feeling in the community that it was important to remove the building,” said Herman Bontrager, a Mennonite businessman who is serving as a spokesman. “Especially for the children, but not only for the children.”

This is one advantage of a simple, one-room schoolhouse. It would be inconceivable to knock down an expensive modern school building for the sake of quick closure, but it’s a simple matter here.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.