The Columbine Tragedy
The student sat at her desk on Monday morning in English class, discussing the details of the weekend with her best friend. The bell rang at 8:45 a.m. and her teacher started taking attendance. It was a new week with so many things to accomplish. The teacher finished the morning details by completing lunch count. She then asked her pupils to quit visiting, and to open their literature books and begin reading. All of a sudden a sound rings through the hall, but it is not an ordinary school bell. It is loud and short. It was followed by several more blasts. Echoes of yelling followed these blasts. High pitched shrieks could be heard throughout the classroom and possibly throughout the entire school. A look of terror was seen on the teacher’s face. She was trembling as she tried to make sense of the blasts the students had just heard. She instructed the class to find shelter in the cabinets and behind desks within the classroom. As the student headed to the cabinets, she glanced at the clock. It was 8:51 am. The blasts continued and could be heard coming closer to the classroom. She then went to the door to find… This scenario describes details that could occur at any school during a school shooting. Students began a normal school day, only to find it changed within minutes. This may be similar to what the students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado may have experienced. Although the Columbine Massacre of 1999 traumatized students, it changed the country forever.
“The names Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold will be forever linked.”(Hasday 12). On April 20, 1999, the two teenagers altered the country permanently; the pair’s 49-minute suicidal attack in Littleton, Colorado at Columbine High School created chaos (Hasday 7; Greg) (SV; SV). Although Harris and Klebold are “linked”, the difference between the two is distinct. For example, when drawing in notebooks at school, Harris drew swastikas; Klebold, hearts (Greg) (SV DO/C; S, DO/C). Obviously swastikas and hearts are not usually associated with one another. Harris was more devious than Klebold. Columbine Principal Frank DeAngelis says of Harris, “He was the type of kid who, when he was in front of adults, he’d tell you what you wanted to hear”. A majority of people know someone like this and do not think he/she is like Harris, a “cold-blooded, predatory psychopath” (Greg). Frank DeAngelis did not know he had murderers under his watch, but he should have known that Harris and Klebold were not angels. After being arrested in January 1998, Harris and Klebold were put on probation. Harris and Klebold were also known for bullying. Their journals said they picked on “fags” and freshmen (Greg). Although they were troublemakers, no one expected them to be school shooters.
By the time Columbine High School figured out Harris and Klebold were murderers, it was too late. They planned the massacre for over a year, constructing hundreds of bombs and...