10 years after Columbine

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since the Columbine massacre.

The students who were trapped in Columbine High School when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris began shooting are now adults and many have been sharing their experiences in books and interviews with the media.

When the shootings first occurred Dylan and Eric were portrayed as depressed and goth-loving. But time has revealed that both were bright with lots of friends.

The questions asked 10 years ago remain true today: How did this happen? What drove these two teens to kill?

The questions we need to ask today are: What have we learned? Have our schools and teens changed for the better?

20 comments Add your comment

jim d

April 20th, 2009
8:41 am

NO!!, the question we should be asking is why we continue to memoralize these type of actions? These two nut cases have gotten much of what they strived for–immortallity. We need to bury the little Asses and move on.

William Casey

April 20th, 2009
9:20 am

The culture of high school grinds down unstable kids. The truly scary thing is that there are dozens of potential “Dylan and Erics” in EVERY school. And they are not easy to identify. I have no precise answers as to why this horror happened. I have a number of things worth thinking about.

* Were the parents active in their boys’ lives?
* How did the killers get such an arsenal?
* The issues that caused the rampage MAY have had nothing to do with the school. It may have happened there because Columbine High School was simply their familiar environment.
* What did their peers know and when did they know it? (Dirty little secret)
* Don’t believe everything school authorities tell you. They have agendas.

Reality

April 20th, 2009
9:20 am

The “issues” to be resolved were born from home. It is the parents and the home life that should be questioned – not the school. It was the school that had the results of those issues thrust upon it.

Schools cannot “fix” every parent problem, every home life problem, every social ill, etc.

It is so very wrong that this event is know as “Columbine” when that is just the name of the location, the school, where it occurred. Why not call this event, “Results from bad parenting?”

Gwinnett Educator

April 20th, 2009
9:35 am

NO..Things are NOT BETTER! Nor will they get better if we do not take an honest look at discipline issues and take steps to resolve them. As long as the schools let the parents of children with behavior issues have a say so in everything..it will NOT GET BETTER! I personally am sick and tired of seeing these lunatics catered to. All this foolishness about behavior plans and modifying this and that means NOTHING!

T&Cmom

April 20th, 2009
10:00 am

How about parents take an active role in their children’s lives, know what is going on. How on earth did they have guns and bombs in the house and their parents not have a clue. When I was a teenager in my parents house there was no such thing as don’t come in my room. If you want privacy move into your own place. Schools stop catering to children with behavioral problems. Kick the little bastards out. Send them to military school. How can teachers teach if they are constantly dealing with discipline issues.

Kimberly, you just don't get it.

April 20th, 2009
10:49 am

Kimberly: Are you being sent to D. C. with Cynthia Tucker? Purge the AJC with the biased.

Rev. Jimmy Jack Bourbon

April 20th, 2009
10:52 am

Yes! Kim bans me! I know too much, and I simply show that, as a New Yorker, she doesn’t know squat about Clayco. We will pray for her and her biased ways.

DB

April 20th, 2009
11:40 am

If by “better” you mean higher security at high schools and even more erosion of privacy, then yes. No school wants to be the next Columbine. We will never know what motivated those two kids — they died and took their rationalizations with them. They left behind journals, a letter and a tape of what they were doing, but that only tells us what was going on in their mind — not why. We think that if we know “why”, we can prevent it from happening again. It’s a comforting thought, but it’s not true, of course. We think that if we tell kids about drugs and alcohol, they won’t experiment. Ha! We think that if we tell kids to abstain from sex, they will Ha!

It was a random act of violence by two mentally unbalanced kids. The kids had what would normally be considered good parents — heck, the week before the shootings, Dylan and his dad were visiting dorm rooms at his proposed college trying to decide which dorm to live in the next year. Even ten years later, the parents are still looking for reasons, the ultimate moment that would have said, “Your son is a potential murderer”. Both boys had juvenile records for relatively minor things, both boys had behavioral problems and anger management (one was taking medication for anger management), and at least one of them was what would normally be considered extremely intelligent. You parent, you discipline, you hope, you pray — usually your kids turn out ok. But sometimes, sadly, they don’t, leaving you with unanswerable questions that haunt you for the rest of your life.

“Stuff” happens. Interesting how Columbine has become such a national hallmark of violence, and yet you almost never hear anything about the murders at Virginia Tech, where 32 people were killed.

Sarah H

April 20th, 2009
11:53 am

Who is Kim and where is her post?

Gwinnett Educator

April 20th, 2009
12:05 pm

Sarah..it seems as though their “vents” have ventured over from the clayton county blog. It doesn’t pertain to this one.

Larry

April 20th, 2009
1:17 pm

jIM d – AMEN, my friend – it’s every bit as simple as you stated.

I’ll buy the shovel…

Gandalf, the White!

April 20th, 2009
2:12 pm

Guns don’t kill people, bullets do.

catlady

April 20th, 2009
5:35 pm

I think public schools in general are more dangerous. Here is why: more rules BUT NOT ENFORCEMENT; an exception for everyone; even less parental involvement in their children’s lives; more stressors (internal and external); even more acceptance of casual violence; people more unconnected (ie video, cell phone, computer, blogs, twitter); less civil discourse by adults (Bush, Obama, the right, the left, prochoice, antiabortion; the war, etc.); more tension/anger in everyday life; glorification of violence; marginalization of the church in everyday life. These are but a few.

V for Vendetta

April 20th, 2009
5:42 pm

catlady, you’re ranking marginalization of the church as a BAD thing? :-)

alli

April 20th, 2009
6:03 pm

Schools will never be as safe as they should be when schools are peanlized under AYP for expelling students. We have several students at our school who have never finished out a year of school since 6th grade without being sent to the alternative school. Many of them have many, many, many chances( 45 trips to office) each year before being sent back to Alternative School. They stay there a few months then start back school the next year, only to repeat the entire process over again. Obviously, alternative school does not solve the problem. Instead of peramently expelling them, we just keep on giving them chances. We have to stop catering and stop making excuses for students whose only purpose is to disrupt. Disruptive students should not have the right to disrupt the learning environment.

RF

April 20th, 2009
10:31 pm

Read the facts, folks. Eric Harris was a psychopath. He was undiagnosed, manipulative, and clearly a textbook nut! Klebold was depressed, angry at nothing and everything, and an easy mark for Harris to control. The result is etched in history. As to whether or not schools are safer, the answer is somewhat. We are definitely more attentive to troubled kids and what they say or write. We have worked hard to dispel the idea of being a “snitch” if you hear about something dangerous. We’ve learned to notice and protect the kids as much as possible from intruders. We practice and drill for intruder alerts every year. While it isn’t easy to think about, we are doing what we can within reason to protect our schools. Most police departments have altered their plans for dealing with possible intruders in schools and are more aggressive in their approach. No more waiting for an hour to go in and find out what’s going on. In Georgia, we have unified room numbering systems and created maps of all rooms, closets, and cornres of school buildings for emergency personnel to access. We’re trying, most definitely. Some are clearly better than others, but I think most schools are somewhat safer. If nothing else, we have learned that such a heinous act can occur in any school, anywhere, at the drop of a hat.

jim d

April 21st, 2009
6:48 am

RF,

Exactly, and we keep the memory alive of a psycho and a misfit malcontent by discussing this event every year. What the hell are folks thinking?? We’ve learned much in the past 10 years, know it is time to move on. Memoralize those that died at their hands and leave these two cretins rot in hell.

JEN

April 21st, 2009
7:07 am

It’s not the bad kids you have to watch for. It’s the kids that sit in school and keep to themselves. Those are the one’s that do this. They get in trouble out of school, but not in school. Thats the kid that did the shooting in Pearl, MS. I knew him. He was in my class, never said a word. They feel left out.

Johnny Applerot

April 21st, 2009
10:31 am

Kimberly Allen bans people from her blog is they know more than her. Biased. Biased. Biased.

MrLiberty

April 28th, 2009
4:04 pm

Columbine is just another example of the kind of “socialization” that kids get by going to government run schools. Just look at all the wonderful things homeschooled kids miss out on.