Former principal, student recall planned attack at East High School

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Wednesday marked 10 years since police stopped a Columbine-style attack at Green Bay’s East High School.

On the morning of Sept. 14, 2006, student Matt Atkinson tipped off school administrators and the school’s resource officer, saying that three of his friends planned to attack the school and its students.

Officers intervened and arrested the teens. When they searched their homes, they found guns, ammunition, homemade explosives and even homemade gelled gasoline. They didn’t find any weapons at the schools.

On Wednesday, Action 2 News spoke with Atkinson and Ed Dorff, the principal at the time. They both say it’s a day they’ll never forget.

“Today is usually kind of a little bit of a harder day,” Atkinson said, “just kinda try to push through and move on with the day, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.”

Matt Atkinson
Matt Atkinson

“It never really leaves your mind,” Dorff said, “your conscious thoughts because it was such a huge thing.

“Even when we do everything right, things can go wrong. And we know that these things can happen anywhere.”

The teens who were charged — Shawn Sturtz, Bradley Netwal and William Cornell — each faced different sentences ranging from 18 months to six years in prison. They have all since been released.

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