Archive through May 05, 1999
may 1970, around the time of kent state and moratorium day against the vietnam war, there was a bomb scare on consecutive days at quantico high school on the marine base south of wash DC..students gathered outside for an hour or so...at the start of the third day it was announced over the PA that school time lost to a bomb scare would be made up by extending the end of the day....the bomb scares stopped. oh for the days of stupid teen pranks...
I am the County Attorney in Tucson, Arizona. I want to express my sincerest sympathy for the community, families, students and teachers in Littleton. I was a high school English teacher before I went to law school. Trying to understand and imagine how horrifying Tuesday's shooting was is extremely difficult. My thoughts and prayers go out for everyone.
Barbara LaWall, Pima County Attorney
I was horrified to hear (and see) what happened at that School on Tuesday lunchtime. I am a 20 year old British student and left school just a couple of years ago.
As you may know, we (in the UK) have horrific massacres like the Dunblane incident - dozens of infants/children shot dead by some crazed local man in their school. Just before that the Jamie Bolger murder - he was 3 years old and was loured away by two 10 year old boys and beaten and stoned to death.
The Colorado High School shooting stunned me - not in the same way that the other two murderous incidents noted above did. I rationalised that in the Dunblane incident one could convince oneself that the man who commited that massacre had some serious mental problem which caused him to see children as objects and allowed him several moments of absolute madness to committ the crime he committed. Also, in the Jamie Bolger killing it could be argued that the two 10 yr old boys did not realise what they were doing and that what they were doin would finally result in the death of the 3 year old boy. The Colorado High School shooting is a totally different kind of crime - two sane, rational human adults walked into the place where they (presumably) spent most of their latter years and shot dead people that they had known as they came across them - that is far more concerning than the crimes I noted above - they may have resented the people that they shot dead but they knew them - they were not objects nor where they strangers.
This entire incident must not be allowed to happen again. The debate in the UK is "how do we protect our children while they are at school without making the place into a fortress?" I say make the places like Fort Knocks. Technology is such that each *ligitimate* person on the school grounds can be issued with some sort of pass card that would get them through an electronic gate/entry point and failure to provide a valid card would result in physically being stopped by a toughened perimiter gate/door/portcullis if needed!!!!!
No schools are not safe. How can they be? Now it just goes to show you that what having to put up with teasing and having no respect for your fellow students does to you. I'm scared to go to school because my friends and I have been threatned that these two boys they said they will blow up the school and he said to my face that he would kill me and all of my friends (and everyone else he doesn't like) now metal detectors and everything else that has to deal with all the safety for schools will not work. If the people or person that wants to kill people in that school will find a way to get in , breaking a window and throwing a bomb in or anything like that. I'm tired of listening to everyone say "WE NEED TO GET GUNS AWAY FROM CHILDREN" they have been saying that 4-ever but when are they going to do it? Are they going ot wait until someone blows up the whole scholl and kills everyone in it?
In these times of terror and fear we all need to turn to the LORD our GOD in prayer and direction.
The Lord did not give us a spirit of fear the devil did oh yes he is real and he is the oneltimately responsible for this tragedy. Lets for the sake of our children not forget to show them and teach them GOD"s mercy. We as a nation have turned our backs on the LORD JESUS CHRIST for money, sex, drugs, excitement. We need to get back to the bible in our schools and our lives.
My sympathy and prayers for all the families involved in this horrible tragedy.
By the Grace of God may some glory come out of this, before its to late for the rest of us.
The hearts of every Australian man women and child are with you right now, particularly in Tasmania where we have a deep understanding of this disgusting, unneccessary, violent and unforgiveable act upon innocent humanity.
The fact that they looked angelic means nothing, but the fact that they wore the same gear to school every day, and identified their life with this is surely frightening. What parent would for one moment think that being called part of a mafia group was even remotely normal?? They played nasty games like Doom, they relished in evil on the net.......they loved sadistic people like Manson, yet no-one noticed, or cared. Just taken as silly teenagers having some "fun"
If someone had taken more notice of the sociopathic lifesyle Martin Bryant had been desplaying for most of his 29 years, the whole history of "rape" on our beautiful state would never have occurred,35 people would be alive today.. and he may have been saved from himself in the end.
To you.......The Teachers, to you the parents of those kids that lost their lives, to you the kids who will never forget.. to you the whole Columbine School Community, to the State of Colorado.....we send our heartfelt sympathy, and we wish you to know that we understand.
Let this be the last time Lord
reaching across to you...
Three students of St Brendan-Shaw College, Devonport, Tasmania, Australia.
Kate, Marcus, Rebekah.
I don't think schools are safe because in my school cops usually don't patrol our school unless
there is a fight. When the Colorado shooting happened, it woke my friends and me up a little bit. It got us thinking if our school is safe or not. We thought where we would go if that really happened, and we thought of no place that was safe!!!!
I think what happened last Tuesday was absolutely disgusting and horrifying! It is a total embarassment to our country.
I think what happened last week is a trajedy, but when we don't listen to people that have problems,
we are asking for something to go wrong. Those boys had problems and issues that needed to be
dealt with. We have too much violence on tv and in the movies. The media is the main source for
evil to get passed on. I don't think anywhere will be safe as long as we tolerate violence. What
kind of example are we setting for our children, when we are in another country bombing innocent
men, women and children. If that place is that bad off, why don't we just help the people that want
to leave, get out. I am a firm believer that the worst is yet to come. This year will be filled with violence
and mischief. You want to know why, because we except it and overlook society problems. I have lived
in europe for several years. In Germany, no one is allowed to own a gun. You do not hear about people
doing crazy things over there. I really think this country needs to reevaluate itself.
A poem I wrote for the families in Colorado:
>>>I watched the news and felt their pain,
>>>Another reminder hate still remains.
>>>Hoping and praying they are still alive,
>>>Some will live and some will die.
>>>The fear on their faces, the shock and the pain.
>>>The image of their friends will always remain.
>>>I want to help them, but I don't know how.
>>>Maybe this heart felt letter will reach them somehow.
>>>For the families who lost loved ones I can only say,
>>>Its been awhile, but I got down on my knees and
>>>I asked God to watch over you and warm your hearts,
>>>This poem isn't much, but I hope it's a start.
>>>I want you to know how much we care,
>>>When times get tough, close your eyes and we'll be
>>>My heart goes out to you, I don't know what else to
>>>Something good has come out of this, I began again to
>>>Heart felt sympathy from my family and all the other
>>families in the
>>>country to the families in Colorado.
>>> Dave Huprich
My heartfelt sympathy for the families of the Colombine Students. I feel that the physcological abuse these kids as well as other shooters played a large roll in what happen at these school. I think the school officals and personal have got to control what goes on in the school and not let it get to desprate situation before doing something.
The school needs to teach respect and fairness of others when their parents are not around The school has got to keep order.
Thank you for this oppunity
The poem by Dave Huprich is very touching!
Everytime you hear about these senseless tragedies, it breaks your heart. Especially as a parent, you put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel? How would you cope? Could you cope? I know that God gives you the strength, but even knowing that, it is hard to even comtemplate this happening to your loved one, in your neighborhood, in this country!! When does it end? How many more innocent people will have to pay with their lives? What has happened to our children to make them this way? Can anyone really answer that. It is easy to blame the media or Hollywood, but when it comes down to it, I think we need to start in the home. Many kids have evil thoughts at one time or another. That kid called me a name, that teacher gave me a bad grade, my parents won't let me do anything. But, for most kids it is just an outlet, they would never even think to harm those people, especially their parents, whom they love, even though it would injure them severly to admit it most times. The main thing is for them to know that they are loved, unconditionally. But they also must know discipline, they have to know that there are things they simply can't do, things that won't be tolerated by them or society as a whole. And when we get back to the basics perhaps things will start looking up for our children, our neighborhoods, our country!!
April 22, 1999
As a writer, I cope by writing. This is an article (actually lifted from a
diary entry) that I have written about my initial thoughts and reactions
about the tragedy at Columbine. Thought you might like to read it.
>From a Columbine High School Alum
by Ben Kemena
Twenty-one years ago, I was an anxious member of the senior class at
Columbine High School -- the first class to complete all four years (grades
9-12) at the school. Last summer, I proudly attended my twenty-year high
school reunion -- class of 1978 -- it was a special time with friends.
High school was not a particularly easy or carefree time for me and memory
has a way of easing hurt, but in the tragedy that has swept my alma mater,
I recognize the profound positive influence of those four years.
I occasionally travel Pierce Street past the newly remodeled high school --
whether for a bit of nostalgia or to visit high school classmates who have
made the area home. My brother and I grew up in Woodmar, just west of the
high school both of us attended. I remember the wheat fields around
Johnson Reservoir when Wadsworth Boulevard was a simple two lane ribbon of
pavement connecting commuters to the "Martin Plant." Those were the years
of music groups like the Carpenters and John Denver. But it was not always
idyllic -- I remember how my classmates, teachers, and I were riveted to
televisions watching the fall of Saigon. Columbine High School opened my
eyes to a world beyond Pierce Street.
The news and images this week have shaken me. I found a quiet stairwell at
work to "decompress" in voiceless grief. The world has changed. I must
admit my ignorance and learn from this heartache, but in the stark shadows
of fifteen deaths, I also know that vitality outlives violence. In
addition to the acts of bravery and compassion I observed this week from
present-day students, their families, and faculty (I knew Mr. Sanders too),
I saw and read about people I still fondly remember. People who have
changed my life; people who I owe a debt of gratitude. I saw Terry Conley,
my former high school principle, on television. I was not always a "model"
high school student. Mr. Conley brought compassion and fairness to my life
experience. I read about Leland Andres, my former music teacher, in the
newspaper. Mr. Andres taught me to consider honesty and discipline as a
way of living. I think of other teachers from Columbine High School that
continue to counsel and advise me as friends and peers like Jean Cannon,
Jane Weiss, and Marion Stieghorst Doylen. I think of my classmates. Then
and now, there are countless everyday heroes from Columbine High School
I cannot comprehend the scale or scope of this catastrophe -- particularly
the trauma it carries into so many families. I think about the injured in
local hospitals. Healing will not be a simple matter -- I know this as a
physician. But I remain very proud of Columbine High School and its legacy
over a quarter century. I see this living tribute in the heroism of
present-day Columbine students, families and faculty. I see it in many of
my Columbine classmates and I see it in myself. I am the product of those
who have taught and mentored me. And while I will never forget the sights
and sounds of this past week, what endures is the investment of love and
hope -- otherwise known as education.
This loss and sorrow cannot be quantified. Eventually, our grief will be
transformed into patient understanding and personal reflection -- for that
is where hope is born. In the meantime, to the people that are and have
been the Columbine High School community in Jefferson County, my healing
includes saying "thank you."
As a mother of three grown children (and just because they're grown doesn't mean you don't worry about them), I fill up with tears every time the news carries something about this massacre. I'm so sorry that you parents have to deal with the pain that comes with the loss of a child so early in their young life. I am told that it is a pain you never quite get over. I remember my children being in school as if it were yesterday---some remembrances more vivid than others----and at no time was I ever worried about their safety except when signing a "Release" for a school sponsored function in which they had to leave the grounds and travel by bus. What great days by comparison! In talking to today's kids about feeling safe at school, a lot of them say that they have felt for some time now, not safe in their school. While my heart goes out to you all in this, the worst time in your life, I also hope that the people in authority at these schools will take a walk down the hallways between classes so that they can see the trenchcoat-clad students or anyone else that looks out of the ordinary and do it in the name of prevention.
Why Columbine High
The Littleton Colorado tragedy
Why it happened
And what can be done to stop it from happening over and over again
The Big Picture....
How our children will always act out the sickness..
in the family and the world
The children will always act out the surpressed feelings
(anger-rage) and desires of the parents and society.
The children will also act out the secrets of the parents. And
we as a society are as sick as our secrets.
This is what we have seen come home to us in Littleton, Colo.
and will continue to see in growing intensity if we as a people
don't finally realize that it is us who have the problem not
It should be clear to all by now that most of the students in
Columbine High knew about the behavior of the trenchcoat
Mafia. Why didn't they discuss it with their parents? If they
did why didn't the parents discuss it with the schools
administration? And if they did why didn't the school
administration discuss it with law enforcement? And why
didn't law enforcement do something about it? These would
seem like reasonable questions that need to be answered don't
you think? I wonder how many children did talk to their
parents about it and the parents did nothing. How many
children didn't bother to talk to their parents because they
knew their parents would do nothing. Do you parents really
know what your children are doing on a day to day basis in
their life? Do you know their friends? Do you talk to their
friend's parents and compare notes with them about what
your child is telling you? This is not about trusting your child
this is about parents coming out of denial and being
The case of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, two high school
kids in a nice neighborhood, in a nice school, brings stark
reality to this invariable truth. The truth they knew, saw and
understood. The truth we have been desperately trying to hide
as a people. The truth that we hide through our pride and our
perfectionism. Our denial to look for the cancer within us.
The horrible truth that we would rather see our children die
than face the truth about ourselves. But our children will
continue to die and take some of us with them if we are not
really open to change. We must really see through new eyes
who we are and to realize who we are as a people and as a
society and that nothing outside our selves will help us. We
are the problem, not guns, not God, or lack of God, not the
neighbors kid, not drugs, not alcohol, not homosexuality, not
violent movies and video games, not the internet, not satanic
music or lyrics; not satin himself...none of these factors can
gain control of our children if we as parents have done our
job...it is us as parents who are the problem. And only we can
do anything to effect change. "Me" as a person and "We" as
a society have the problem and "You" as a parent are
responsible to change it. Its not them it is us.
Parents are, in general, not bad people. Each and every one of
us has sincerely tried to do and give our children the best we
are willing and have to offer. Once again I mention the
importance of our action not our words. Our words always
mean the best for our children but our actions speak in
hypocritical terms and this is what causes the confusion and
anger for our children. What in fact the kids see and hear are
the words and the hypocritical actions we as parents have
heard and learned from our parents.
The Bible says very clearly, "...Provoke not your children to
wrath.....". Ephesians 6:4 (English-KJV ) "Fathers, do not
exasperate your children...."(NIV version)
Webster Dictionary definition says that "Provoke" means to:
1 a archaic : to arouse to a feeling or action b : to incite to
2 a : to call forth (as a feeling or action) : EVOKE b : to stir
up purposely c : to provide the needed stimulus for
The Thesaurus shows the synonyms to be to Irritate, annoy,
incite, and to generate!
Invoke, to insult, outrage, anger, incense, instigate, stir up,
induce, cause, perturb, upset, to lead one into doing or feeling
or to produce by so leading a person.
If we expect our children to obey us we must earn their
respect and stop provoking them to wrath.
If children experience abuse, either physical or emotional in
the home they will take that abuse out on others and
themselves. If parents push their kids to perfection in sports,
or grades, that is abuse and creates anger. The child will often
take that anger out on those they consider inferior to them.
(This is what happened at Columbine High, first the jocks
take their anger out on the trenchcoat Mafia and then the
trenchcoat Mafia take their anger out on the jocks and
There is a pecking order in schools just like in many homes.
The heroes get the praise and attention. Those that are living
out moms and dads and the teachers dreams get the strokes,
the rest get abused and at best ignored.
We all should know, if we are sensitive at all, that children are
tremendously abusive in school towards one another. Why?
Where did they learn to be abusive? If you are not part of
"the in group," you are nothing in most schools.
Most parents don't know what abuse is because they were
raised the same way and they think they turned out OK
because they judge OK by money and materialism. Good job,
nice home, lots of adult toys. These have nothing to do with
knowing how to give a child what they need to feel good
about themselves and others. This is the hypocrisy that
children see in their parents. Parents who don't love
themselves can't possibly teach children to love themselves.
We ask why we are seeing these types of disasters happening
in nice schools in nice neighborhoods? Money, materialism,
perfectionism, snobbism is the majority. What does that
create in those who don't see that as life's answer? Where and
why do kids learn to act this way? In the home from mom
and dad. They see it modeled for them.
Children are not going to admit that this is going on. They
will protect their parents just as we protect ours. Children
would rather accept all the responsibility than give the
impression that parents might have faults. This is what society
(Generations of dysfunctional beliefs) demand of them if they
are to be accepted.
None of us claim to know everything when it comes to raising
children and being a good parent. Then why do we act
perfect? We act like we know it all. We say we don't but if I
ask you to tell me specifically what it is you don't know, what
are you going to tell me? It proves; we can't know what we
don't know. We all know that huge amounts of progress and
knowledge has occurred in every area of society as it pertains
to our jobs and our personal life. Yet why do we continue to
try to raise our children on 100-year-old outdated inherited
and passed on information that has never worked? Why do
we hang on to the "fairy tales" of the past?
What are the children seeing as role models? They are seeing
their moral leader, the President, being allowed to get away
with immoral behavior and then when he lies and covers it up,
his parents, (the voting public) do nothing because they don't
want to rock the boat for fear of loosing some of their
materialistic gains he has helped them acquire. Is this not
hypocrisy the kids are seeing at the highest level? What did
their parents do to try to stop it? What did they see their
elected representatives trying to do to stop it? The Children
really have been watching and I suspect their actions reflect
their disgust with what they see! Who really is running our
nation, who is making the decisions, who is really responsible
for the crime and unrest in our country? The adults...not the
children. Then why are we blaming the children? We have the
power not them. If we expect change we have to change by
example if we want them to change. We can't ask them to be
perfect when it is so obvious we are not perfect. Don't you
think they can see this?
How do we get our children to consider doing what we want
them to do? Do we use money or materialistic things to bribe
them and control them? Is that your value system? Is that
what motivates you? Or is it easier to give money and
materialist things than yourself, your time, and your feelings?
What happens when the money and gifts stop coming?
Another example: Where and how and with whom are the
children allowed to express their anger? How have they seen
anger dealt with in their home? Do they know how to have,
feel and deal with constructive anger? Do you as a parent
know? Is it working? What are the signs you see in your child
that he is having healthy anger or not having healthy anger?
All the signs are there for you to see if you know what they
are. This is a serious problem with all children that parents
must face but most are using tools and methods 100 years old
that don't work now! This is an another example of why the
children are in trouble with your leadership. If you are
starting to get angry by my words, please take it as a good
sign and don't let your pride and ego get in the way of your
stated desire to help your children. That would be the major
reasons we are were we are today. We require our children to
be open to new information and they are learning new ideas
of the 21st century and we as parents are still living and
swearing by 19th century child rearing techniques. The
children see it and know it and are rebelling.
For all of you parents who have placed your faith in God and
the bible as the primary answer to all your child's problems
you better take a hard look at why it is not working. Raising
children requires the effort of both God and man. God can't
do it without you. That is why he gave us free will. And in no
way do I think God is happy about the way his children are
being raised by the adults he has placed in charge. I suspect if
he were the parent he would be doing it considerable different.
He was pretty clear that most issues could be solved with love
and good example. He set that example and showed unlimited
love for all except the hypocrites. Parent's main problem is
the hypocrisy. Take the log out of your own eye before you
start trying to deal with the speck in your child's eye.
We have to face that we are really in fact all equals. No one
any better or worse than anyone else, we are all equally
screwed up and we are all responsible. We are all good and all
bad. Our kids are us. They reflect us, both the inner and the
outer us. The part that is obvious and the part that we try to
hide. They pay the price for our secrets and our hypocrisy.
The only way out is through and we have to begin the journey
to save our children and in the process we just may save