It is hard to believe but tomorrow, April 20th, will mark the 10 year anniversary of one of the worst school shootings in history. Up until 9/11, it was probably the most shocking news story I have experienced in my life. Prior to Columbine, there were a few other school shootings but this one really hit home because of the brutality of the crime. Who can forget the images of those kids running away from the building or those heart breaking interviews of the victim’s families and the survivors. Very few news stories have made me cry and this was one of them. I think a lot of people in America wanted to be there and give those poor families and kids a hug.
The sad part about this awful tragedy is that it pretty much has started a wave of school shootings in this country and the world. Since Columbine, there have been even deadlier attacks and I find it very disturbing that many of the shooters made reference to Columbine in their final suicide notes or online journals. It is like Columbine is the model for which all school shootings should be patterned after. Equally disturbing to me is the notion that some kid or kids will want to do something even more dramatic and kill many more students. Unfortunately, there are probably kids out there who are thinking about that right now.
In any high school or college, you are going to have a select group of kids who are somewhat different or outsiders. It has always been like that and always will be. Young people can have very fragile emotions and personalities and school administrators and teachers need to understand that. They are not there to just to teach a student about a particular subject. They can also be a big influence in a young person’s life as well as being someone who raises the red flag when something does not seem right. In many cases of school shootings, these red flags are missed.
This Monday, April 20th, I encourage everyone to remember the victims of this massacre and keep the the families and students who survived this in your thoughts and prayers. For many families and young people, their lives will never be the same again.