Spring 2004/Final Issue





"What 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."







































"Please 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."

 



I 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.

What 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.

What 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.

And 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.

The 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.

Somehow, 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 now.

I 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.

We 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 my end.

What 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.

Iíve 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.

What 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.

Please 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.

Please change the plot. You are the only one who can.















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Aaron DeLay is a 22 year old writer, student and teacher.
He has written columns for LFCNews for three years and we look forward to more of his in-depth writing in the upcoming opportunities with www.racheljoyscott.com. He also has his own website www.postalley.net, of which he started on his own and steadily has grown to a first-rate site of its own.

Aaron still plans to attend Colorado Christian University and pursue a degree with intent on becoming a childrenís pastor in the Denver Metro Area.

You can reach him at sulu@totalspeed.net or you can find him online with ICQ at 45029631, on AOL at ad5482, or yahoo at ad5482@yahoo.com.


   


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