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Perusing the news today (leisurely, as I am one of those "millionaire high school teachers" on vacation this week) I was somewhat struck on how no one has mentioned the anniversary of the Columbine tragedy today (at least on MSNBC anyway). Maybe it's an editorial choice or maybe it has become "old news"...I don't know. Just wanted to make sure this tragedy isn't completely forgotten here on DKos.

I am writing this basically extemporaneously, so please forgive the structure of this diary.

It's hard to believe that it's been 12 years since this tragedy took place. Thankfully our school was on vacation then as it is now. I've been teaching and coaching at the same high school in various guises for 16 years now. We had a "killing" take place at our school in 1994. It was more of a death due to a fight (fatal stabbing) than the calculated plan of Harris and Klebold but of course it was a tragedy non-the-less. I started at the school a year after but the school had sadly become attuned to the fact that tragedy could occur even in our hallowed halls.

Not really sure what I want to impart here other than to mark the tragedy and keep it in our collective consciousness so that it may never happen again, wishful thinking perhaps. I recently read David Cullen's Columbine and was actually struck by what little has been actually learned on the "why" this happened which makes it all the more chilling. It's a tremendously written and well researched account but it does leave the reader cold in that it really has no "answers."  One of the answers is obviously better gun control laws in this country but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

I hope everyone has a safe and pleasant April 20th...and take a moment to reflect on (or pray) for the victims of this tragedy.

 

Originally posted to dhshoops on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 10:26 AM PDT.

Also republished by oo.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are." --Homer Simpson

    by dhshoops on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 10:26:13 AM PDT

  •  Anyone want to discuss Columbine? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarackStarObama

    Purpose of the diary was more to get a discussion going here.

    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are." --Homer Simpson

    by dhshoops on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 10:55:37 AM PDT

  •  One of my worst nightmares... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ebohlman, dhshoops, MRA NY

    With a daughter who teaches in an urban middle school, and two sons working as cops on some pretty mean streets, it's a wonder I get any sleep at all.

    Columbine - and the many other infamous mass school shootings - are but the horrific tip of the iceberg.  When my daughter was in 7th grade (in the same school where she now teaches) a classmate brought a loaded 9mm to school and tried to shoot another classmate in an argument over a boy.  Fortunately, she didn't know how to work the semi-automatic handgun, and it was taken from her before she was able to fire a shot.

    And it continues:

    In the 2006-07 school year, the most recent year for which figures are available, 2,695 public school students across the country were expelled for bringing a firearm to school: 345 of them in elementary schools, according to the Department of Education.

    Six year old boy's gun goes off in elementary school

    I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

    by Wayward Wind on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:43:51 AM PDT

    •  My condolences... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wayward Wind

      and thanks for chiming in here.

      Secretly, I'm constantly amazed we don't see more gun related tragedies in American schhools. At most schools, it's so easy to conceal bringing a weapon into the building.

      "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are." --Homer Simpson

      by dhshoops on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:55:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I raise my glass to you (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dhshoops, MRA NY

        for all that you do in the classroom every day...and don't let the dumb, loud, and few get you down....their days of dominating the discussion with their nonsense will hopefully be numbered...

        I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

        by Wayward Wind on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 12:07:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks but it's actually a very good/safe (0+ / 0-)

          school and I love it there. What can be learned though, is that if it can happen there.....

          "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are." --Homer Simpson

          by dhshoops on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 12:41:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, the vast majority of all school shootings (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dhshoops, Wayward Wind

      have always been, and continue to be, one-on-one incidents, usually where both the shooter and the victim are poor and of color. They don't make the national news, so people don't realize they happen.

      Fortunately, that kind of school shooting has declined greatly in the last two decades. Unfortunately, that lower rate is still way too high.

      If you Google "headache brain tumor", you will come away convinced that your headache is actually cancer—Seth Mnookin

      by ebohlman on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:56:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Has anyone here read Cullen's book? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madmsf

    Scary read.

    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are." --Homer Simpson

    by dhshoops on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:57:59 AM PDT

    •  I've read it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dhshoops

      Actually I listened to the audiobook version of it.  Very, very compelling account of the Columbine massacre.  I was struck by how many myths exist about the event as well as by how it appears that it could have all been avoided if the local police department had been a little bit more on the ball.

    •  I recommend Cullen's book (0+ / 0-)

      As others have said it is well-written and extremely well-researched.

      It does not provide a definitive answer on "why" Columbine happened, but it provides many insights and gets us much closer to the answers.  

      (Note:  there are many scenes in the book that are very tough to read).

      "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

      by Bob Duck on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 01:55:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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