It’s been twenty years since two teenage boys stormed a local school with weapons, ammo, and a murderous (cowardly) intent. Columbine made
international news and shocked the world, but to me it’s always been a very real, very raw, and horrifically painful event. And I was one of the
lucky ones-- I did not say goodbye to my son or daughter for the last time that day, although I (through family and friends) know some parents who
did. I did not have to endure the terror and confusion of a brutal coordinated attack, or get shot with a sawed-off shotgun, or watch my friend bleed
out next to me. I don’t have to live out my life in a wheelchair suffering bladder infections and a host of other ailments from bullet wounds and
the subsequent surgeries (and the cost thereof) like the young man I met many years ago. But that horrific day remains an indelible blot on our
community, on the nation, and has impacted more lives than we’ll likely ever know.
The twelve teens who died that day would have been grown by now, and some would’ve had children of their own. So entire generations were lost. At
least one suicide was logged in the wake-- the mom of a wheelchair bound victim. My friend’s cousin’s parents divorced after the death of their
son. Their marriage couldn’t take the wrenching loss. The tragedy is exponential, and though I only caught a glimpse of it, it was an overwhelming
and life changing perspective.
And then, when one thinks that Columbine is held as some sort of sick goal for the demented school shooters who have come in their wake, and how the
atmosphere of a school is now forever changed, and how nowadays any parent, any where, has that small but nagging worry when dropping his/her child
off at school, the truth is almost too hard to bear.
As you probably have heard, a Columbine-obsessed woman shut down Denver schools yesterday. And, honestly, it was real real hard taking my little boy
in to school today. And real hard deciding how much I wanted to tell him about why the schools are closed. So I asked him, “So, you’ve had
lockdown drills at school? What are those like?” And he started to rattle off the different drills and what to do-- a robber comes into the school
and the kids get under their desks. If a dangerous creature is outside, the school goes into lockdown and if there are two teachers, one goes to
guard each door (our first line of fire-- mostly young women), if they’re outside and a person comes with weapons, they run inside…
So I just told him what was up. Why school was cancelled, all of it. But it really broke my heart to do so. When I was in Kindergarden, my biggest
worry was getting a bloody nose.
But I think it’s time we really, really did face this horror reality we’ve created and find a way to confront the issue.
I have some ideas and they really involve the WHOLE community, whether a person is a parent or not, we all have something to offer each other. But
I’d really like to hear ideas from you all. I’m so emotionally spent from writing this that I might not be so active in this thread for a while
(considering it gets any attention).
Sorry for the very bleak thread. BUT it doesn't have to be bleak if we can start making some real changes in our community.
edit on 18-4-2019
by zosimov because: (no reason given)