Home > Uncategorized > Columbine, ten years after

Columbine, ten years after

April 19, 2009

This week is the 10-year anniversary of the Columbine massacre, wherein a couple of disaffected high school kids killed 13 people and wounded 23 others at their high school in Colorado. 

Papers are full of articles about the “lessons” we were supposed to learn from what is, fundamentally, a statistical outlier.  Think of it: there are something like eighty-eight thousand public schools in the US.  Occasionally one of them has a shooting.  It’s almost impossible to frame such rare events in any instructive way.

When the massacre happened my son remarked; “This will bring out the stupid in everyone” and it looks like he was right.  Hucksters of every kind came out of the woodwork selling video surveillance systems, metal detectors, even bulletproof backpacks.  School districts and police departments ponied up for hallway cops with drug-sniffing dogs.  “Zero Tolerance” became the norm.  Any hope of teaching kids about civil rights went right out the window, because our schools have become rights-free zones. 

Once in a blue moon, they may catch a shooter that way.  They may create many more, however.  Shooting up your school is an act of a deeply alienated kid, and it’s my understanding that rules times relationship equals a constant.  When you expel a kid for drawing a picture of a gun, you make that kid understand that he can’t trust you with his thoughts.  He just gets lonelier and more isolated from anyone who could help him, if he even needed help.  Kids draw pictures of lots of stuff, it doesn’t mean anything is wrong with them.

But there has been one positive outcome: bullying is now considered a bad thing (unless the object of the bullying is thought to be gay – we’re still working on that).  The focus is all on the obvious victims, but not on the less obvious ones.  If anyone has any good suggestions on how to help bullies, the floor is open…

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. April 21, 2009 at 23:03 | #1

    I agree. I might post more on this later as this topic is pretty close to me.

  2. February 1, 2010 at 10:48 | #2

    I totally agree with you. I am currently doing research on this topic and your article is a great eye opener.

Comments are closed.