I would ask of those of you out there in middle school and high
school is to not forget...You need to remember that raw emotion
you felt or even watched on others faces. You need to realize
it can happen again."
reach out to someone you may not know. Reach out to someone that
no one else will. If you donít, you will have slammed a door in
their face and thrown away the key."
donít believe anyone will ever completely forget the day that changed
our small town of Littleton, Colorado. I donít believe many of us will
let the lessons of that terrible day fade from memory. I donít believe
Littleton will ever lose its eternal link to the name Columbine High
SchoolóI donít fear that these events will take place.
I fear is the loss of the memory in our high schools and to an extent
our middle schools. Several weeks ago I was celebrating my 22nd birthday
quietly in my apartment when a sudden thought barged into my head. It
has been nearly three years since I graduated from Littleton High School.
Iíve slowly lost any connection to my old stomping grounds as younger
friends graduated, others moved away to far flung colleges and I remained
here in my home watching them leave.
worries me now is the loss of the sting of that event that tore our
hearts from our souls on that quiet Tuesday morning. At 11:21 am, the
first shots were sounded in the hallways of Columbine, starting the
spark that would soon turn into a firestorm, touching everyone in its
path. Even today we hear the haunting words from the past. Klebold.
Harris. Rachel Scott. Sanders. The list goes on. The lawsuits have sprung
up over the last five years. Names have been dragged though the mud
while others have been forever changed.
yet we still have an echo of that morning in our minds. I still remember
the screams from my news editor Alyssa Rennecker as she heard the news
from the telephone in the Lions Roar editing room. We turned on the
television and watched in horror as it played out before us.
hallways were in a heightened panic as news spread through the school.
We didnít know much from what we had seen, but as facts began to trickle,
everyone started to realize what it meant. The days after were horrifying
and heart breaking as the names were read of those we had lost. Our
minds reeled; trying to understand was shattering our community from
the inside out.
we managed to make it through those tough weeks and months. Year after
year we gathered to remember those we lost and the ones that are still
with us. Now in the year 2004 we face the five year anniversary of the
Columbine High School Shooting. We can expect news reports, newspaper
sections devoted to the event and talking heads giving their thoughts
on how things have changed, how they need to change and where we are
donít believe any of them will have the real answers or even understand
what happened. What I know to be true is that we lost fellow students
because two boys took their anger and hurt and repaid it with bullets.
They believed in their cause and planned it to the end. They planted
bombs in the kitchen that would have left more death and destruction.
They walked through a school and destroyed lives.
can talk about what happened all we want and we can do our reviews as
much as we please. What we cannot do is stop fighting for our schools
back. Students are abused, picked on and exiled each day and if we forget
that they still exist, we have turned our backs on them. Students, who
feel alone, left out or otherwise on the other side of the fence. I
was one of those students in middle school. I wrote a story about throwing
my abuser around the hallways and bringing him to the edge of death.
I seriously considered suicide, thinking of how I would do it, and planning
we face this day is the challenge of keeping more Harris and Kleboldsí
from reaching their boiling point and turning their version of justice
on our friends in the hallways in the schools. Students everywhere face
more challenges daily than any of us have. What we need to do is realize
that and find ways to save those that are near collapse.
come to a point where donít have as much insight into the ďTeen MindĒ
as I used to. At the age of 22, Iím moving into a different phase of
my life. Iíve havenít been in touch with the teenage crowd for awhile.
So what I say here may not impact the age I write for.
I would ask of those of you out there in middle school and high school
is to not forget. Most of you still can faintly remember April 20, 1999.
Some of you might have been in elementary school. You need to remember
that raw emotion you felt or even watched on others faces. You need
to realize it can happen again. Please do not forget those you pass
by in the hallway. Please do not forget what they go through everyday
at school, at home and wherever they travel.
reach out to someone you may not know. Reach out to someone that no
one else will. If you donít, you will have slammed a door in their face
and thrown away the key. Do not forget those that others have already
passed by. We need to stop watching the tapes of Columbine and start
filming a new chapter in this story. If we do not, the ending will be
something none of us want to read.
change the plot. You are the only one who can.
<<TO FEATURE STORY
TO MAIN PAGE>>