Earlier this week, the Gainesville Police Department in Georgia released a statement that they had arrested a 16-year-old white girl who planned to murder congregants at a black church.
The statement, released on Tuesday, said that the police had arrested the girl on Friday, November 15th, after students notified school staff of the girl's plans. School faculty then alerted the police.
The Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Gainesville was the target because its congregation is black. Police obtained the girl's notebook, which Sgt. Kevin Holbrook said contained "manifesto-type" language and laid out the girl's plan to use knives to assault black parishioners.
It was "definitely racially motivated," Holbrook said.
It was students who had initially discovered the notebook and its plans, and then alerted school administrators, that helped police foil the girl's plan.
“There were many writings and drawings, different depictions, and a lot of hateful messages in it,” Holbrook told The Washington Post. “As far as the details go, they were down to very specific information.”
Jeremy Williams, the superintendent of the Gainesville school system, told reporters, “As a school system that celebrates our diversity, we are beyond stunned with the recent development. However, we are extremely proud of our students notifying school administration of a possible off-campus threat.”
Attacks on black churches have occurred repeatedly in the last few years. Thankfully in this case, because of the students alerting faculty, this attack was stopped before it even started.