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Old 04-20-2004, 05:23 PM   #1
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Five Years From Columbine-At Last We Know Why They Did It?

I want the focus to be on the victims, not on those two..but I thought this article was interesting, in light of how it is so often portrayed-that they were these kids "driven" to do this because they were constantly picked on and/or bullied in school. So you wonder if this could have been prevented at all?

Maybe by the killers' parents if they had realized their sons' psychological problems and sought help..? It is important to figure out why and what can be done differently, obviously

http://slate.msn.com/id/2099203/?GT1=3256

Thinking of the victims today, and all the victims of school violence
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Old 04-20-2004, 08:57 PM   #2
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Old 04-20-2004, 10:34 PM   #3
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I live only a few minutes away from Columbine. My sister and I were both supposed to attend and would have been there that day. Circumstances intervened.

I'm rather glad this myth of them being poor, persecuted young men has been exploded. I know the horrors people endure in high school and how it isn't addressed. This was something else altogether, and too many dropped the ball.

Living in the area, alot of stories about these two came out after the fact. The Harrises *knew* their son had problems. They had called the police on him at least once that I know of, for trying to injure his mother. They *knew* and ultimately, it came down to them and they failed.

The teachers knew the kind of violent stuff he was turning in and brought it to the attention of the principal, who blew it off. No one addressed it.

There's not a day that goes by in Colorado that something Columbine related isn't in the newspapers. But has anything changed? Do parents pay more attention to their kids? Do the schools know what their students are doing? No. No one learned anything. It's such a tragedy.
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Old 04-20-2004, 10:46 PM   #4
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Old 04-20-2004, 11:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by AvsGirl41
There's not a day that goes by in Colorado that something Columbine related isn't in the newspapers. But has anything changed? Do parents pay more attention to their kids? Do the schools know what their students are doing? No. No one learned anything. It's such a tragedy.
Sadly, I think you're completely right.

I went to a large private high school and one year we had a bomb threat and were all (like 1500 of us) herded into a church next door while the sniffing dogs and bomb squad spent the entire afternoon searching. Then last year someone found a threat type note in a bathroom and for months ALL of the students had to enter school through a single door with extra police (besides our usual staff of security guards). The stupid thing was that everyone knew which kid left that note but the parents or teachers were either never informed or never took it seriously. My brother was talking about it once and said stuff like "oh, everyone knows it was so-and-so and he's always been really weird and messed up...". I guess not even private schools that consider themselves the best quality education and community aren't doing any better a job....
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Old 04-21-2004, 09:02 AM   #6
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But has anything changed? Do parents pay more attention to their kids? Do the schools know what their students are doing? No. No one learned anything. It's such a tragedy.
Yes, it is. I don't know if anything could've prevented it (can a psychopath be cured?), but if those in authority had done their jobs, it might've been lessened.

In both of their cases, psychotherapy would've been a good call. Yes, it's expensive and it's not guaranteed, but it does help. If your child is sick, you take him to the doctor. Ignoring it and hoping it will go away is absolutely the worst thing a parent can do.
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Old 04-21-2004, 09:51 AM   #7
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Yeah I read that article and I couldn't believe that they wouldn't have stopped their sons and gotten help for them. It's amazing how some parents these days either are too busy to pay attention to what their kids are doing or just ignore them thinking that whatever problem they're having will just go away. Whatever those boys had in their minds just kept building up. I don't know about a psychopath because they do harm on purpose knowing what they're doing is wrong but they could have least tried it out.
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Old 04-21-2004, 10:49 AM   #8
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It's a shame the school didn't do more to stop the bullying. Too many people accept it as part of school life or something that 'happens.' But it should not be that way. No one should have to go to school and be intimidated and harrassed. If it hasn't happened to you maybe you can't understand just how that feels and you just can't 'get over it' especially not when it continues to happen. If anyone needed 'psychological help' it was the bullies, because anyone who has to find joy and entertainment hurting others and putting them down to feel cool is a sick individual indeed. It is a tragedy it came to this. One thing I could never understand about the Eric and Dylan is, WHY did they go to the library and take out nice girls like Rachael? She never did them any harm. If they were that upset by the bullies you'd think they'd hunt them down and let them know who killed them and why. It's all part of the senseless waste of the whole story.

A problem that has come about since then is, I think, the schools are taking the wrong approach in their paranoia of this happening again. The rules have become stupid and extreme and punishments ridiculous. They're barking up the wrong tree, because it's not the badass boy who's always getting into trouble who does this, it's the quieter, nerdy, even timid types, the misfits who snap and shoot up the school. The only real way to stop it is to stop bullying. Both the bullies and the bullied should be sent to the guidence counselor, not the principal, when incidents happen.
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Old 04-21-2004, 11:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten
It's a shame the school didn't do more to stop the bullying. Too many people accept it as part of school life or something that 'happens.' But it should not be that way. No one should have to go to school and be intimidated and harrassed. If it hasn't happened to you maybe you can't understand just how that feels and you just can't 'get over it' especially not when it continues to happen. If anyone needed 'psychological help' it was the bullies, because anyone who has to find joy and entertainment hurting others and putting them down to feel cool is a sick individual indeed. It is a tragedy it came to this. One thing I could never understand about the Eric and Dylan is, WHY did they go to the library and take out nice girls like Rachael? She never did them any harm. If they were that upset by the bullies you'd think they'd hunt them down and let them know who killed them and why. It's all part of the senseless waste of the whole story.
It is a senseless waste, but no one can explain why these kids did what they did. Maybe it was bullies, maybe it was girls who didn't pay attention to them, maybe it was their parents...more than likely it was a combination of all this and more.

Can these things be prevented? We may never know.

I do know this, that many times, more than ever admitted the parents aren't totally surprised. They saw something and never did anything be it fear, not knowing what to do, or not caring. My cousin was murdered by a jealous ex-boyfriend couple of years ago. His mother was actually quoted as saying she wasn't suprised this happen. He was obsessive and I didn't know what to do about it.


Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten

A problem that has come about since then is, I think, the schools are taking the wrong approach in their paranoia of this happening again. The rules have become stupid and extreme and punishments ridiculous. They're barking up the wrong tree, because it's not the badass boy who's always getting into trouble who does this, it's the quieter, nerdy, even timid types, the misfits who snap and shoot up the school. The only real way to stop it is to stop bullying. Both the bullies and the bullied should be sent to the guidence counselor, not the principal, when incidents happen.
I don't want to get into a debate here, but I also think this is part of the problem as well. I don't think any high school "type" should be narrowed down and focused on. Any individual can snap and lash out in violence like this. This type of thinking can lead to some dangerous presumptions and actions. Good example would be the West Memphis Three.

Anyone can snap not just the bullies, the bullied, or even the boys. Take a look at the girls hazing incedent that happened about a year ago. When I was in high school a very popular student council member with high grades and was very active brought enough plastic explosives to level my school twice. He was caught because a friend turned him in. So you never know, but hopefully a parent, a close friend, someone will see the signs and have the guts to do something before something like this happens.
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Old 04-21-2004, 11:39 AM   #10
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That's what I'm saying, they seem to be targeting the 'type' that is the troublesome badass, when it's not usually that kind of person who does a school shooting. The answer is not more rules and longer detention, it's getting to the bottom of who bullies and why, who gets bullied and why, and stopping it. It bothers me people always think the picked on are the ones who need 'help' well maybe some do but the real problem is the bullies. I believe a person who becomes a bully is an asshole with a bad attitude and has some kind of problem too or he wouldn't act like that so he needs 'help.' If bullying isn't the only thing that sets it off then it's a bigger problem.

BTW I was a victim of school bullying, so maybe I see and feel this a little differently than most of you.

Another problem is nobody ever thinks anything is going to happen. I heard one story where the boys were in the garage making bombs and a couple kids from school came by and asked what they were doing and they replied that they were making bombs to blow you guys up. The kids told their parents and they called the cops but nothing was done. No one took it seriously. That's what I mean by barking up the wrong tree, some things are read too much into and some are neglected. I guess you can never tell until it's too late.

Some school security measures are really a joke. Like at my daughter's school, they have this old lady sitting at a desk in front of the door before you get to the office. They make you sign your name and take a visitor's pass. So once you've done that you are free to do what you want? I used to joke her about it, saying I had anthrax in my purse, or if someone pulled a gun what would she do. It really wouldn't stop anyone, it's a farce.

I am sorry about your cousin I've heard a lot of stories about that, ex boyfriend kills girl and her family or girl and her new boyfriend. But this is not always school related and happens with all ages, even middle aged married people. Just in my general area, a lost her husband when his lover's husband found him in bed with his wife and shot them both dead. They were 40 somethings. The other wife had no idea he was sleeping around on her. There was also a recent story of a gay love triangle where a guy stabbed to death his boyfriend and the guy he was cheating on him with, then hung himself in a greenhouse and the workers came in and found him. They were in their 30's. That was only about 2 miles from where I live. So that spurned lover aspect is everywhere and not just a school thing.
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Old 04-21-2004, 11:46 AM   #11
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I was a victim of bullying as well and I did need help to get me out of the rut they threw me into I started suffering from depression when I was 9 yrs old and it lasted all the way through college...now I get it once in awhile but I did get help and I think that was the only thing that saved me from trying to commit suicide a few times.

The teachers KNEW that I was getting bullied and they did NOTHING to stop it.
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Old 04-21-2004, 11:52 AM   #12
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I'm sorry Mullen girl To me it was another attack on my already damaged self esteem for someone to think I needed 'help' What I needed was for someone to stop the bullies! My 8th grade guidence counselor was good. She talked to me and the bad kids. She brought me in to talk to other kids who were being harrassed that I didn't even know. She was always there for me, I could walk into her office ANYTIME I needed her, leaving class, coming down the hall, whenever, she'd take me in and help me and write me a pass to my next class. She really helped me and I don't know what would have happened to me if she hadn't been there. Every school should have one like her.

It is a big problem that teachers do usually see what is going on and ignore it or are afraid to act or think it's normal. That is wrong. If I were a teacher no one would be bullied in my class!
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Old 04-21-2004, 11:55 AM   #13
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Yeah definitely

It's important to catch it early before it messes up anybody
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Old 04-21-2004, 11:56 AM   #14
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Yeah as a messed up person I say amen to that!
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Old 04-21-2004, 12:00 PM   #15
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I am sorry about your cousin I've heard a lot of stories about that, ex boyfriend kills girl and her family or girl and her new boyfriend. But this is not always school related and happens with all ages, even middle aged married people. .
Right but my point was this kid's mother saw signs and did nothing. The problems happen before the kids get to school, the problems do not lie 100% in the schools.
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Old 04-21-2004, 01:01 PM   #16
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School violence rises again
'Spike in deaths not even on the radar screen of the public'By Gwen Florio
Rocky Mountain News
Updated: 6:07 a.m. ET April 20, 2004April 20, 2004 - In Nebraska, a boy in a black overcoat is arrested in February after being found outside his high school with 20 homemade bombs, a rifle, small propane tanks and a note declaring his intentions to hurt everyone in the school except his closest friends.

In New Jersey, a recent high school graduate and two middle school students who dressed in trench coats and called themselves Warriors of Freedom were arrested after an attempted carjacking last summer. They had rifles, a shotgun, handguns, swords and more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition. Police said they planned to attack the school, then kill people around town.

And here in Colorado, three Fort Collins ninth-graders were accused in 2001 of planning a deadly attack on some of their fellow students. Police confiscated a semiautomatic pistol, a doubled-barreled shotgun, two rifles, a handgun, ammunition and a small propane tank from one boy's home. In his locker, they found drawings of students being killed.

In all three cases, police spoke of averting another Columbine.

The word Columbine has become a layered sort of shorthand, encompassing both action - the sort of horrific school shooting that occurred five years ago today - and intent, as in "never again."

In the five years since Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed a teacher and 12 of their classmates, schools and law enforcement agencies around the country have rushed to implement policies and procedures designed to work exactly as they did in Malcolm, Neb.; Oaklyn, N.J.; and Fort Collins.

But violence in schools has hardly gone away. Fatal shootings just tend to happen one victim at a time. Since Columbine, no more than two students have died in any single school shooting in the U.S.

Add up all of those isolated numbers, though, and this school year turns out to be the deadliest on record since Columbine, said Kenneth Trump, of National School Safety and Security Services.

That statistic has garnered little attention.

"The sad reality is that the spike in school deaths is not even on the radar screen of the general public, or even flying on the stealth radar of those who should be in the know," Trump said. "In the couple of years after Columbine, we took five steps forward in the field of school safety. It seems as though we're slipping, maybe 10 steps back."

According to federal statistics, 37 students were killed or committed suicide in school or at school-related events in 1999, when Columbine occurred. That number declined to less than half that every year since, until this year.

Trump's own numbers, the most recent available, show that school violence has claimed 43 lives so far this year.

Few school shootings have been widely publicized, though, since a student in Ehrfurt, Germany, fatally shot 14 teachers, two students and a police officer before killing himself in 2002. The last well-known school shooting in this country occurred in March 2001 in Santee, Calif., when a freshman killed two students and wounded 13 others.

The temptation is to say that Columbine spurred measurable, meaningful change in policies and that lives have been saved as a result, Trump said.

Larry Abrahamson, chief deputy district attorney who prosecuted the three Preston Junior High students in Fort Collins, subscribes to that point of view.

"When Columbine is in the back of your mind, you say, 'Whoa, this threat is a situation that could actually come about,' " Abrahamson said.

But many more lives have been lost, said Trump, who established his Cleveland-based consulting firm in 1989.

Trump blames school funding cuts, an emphasis on proficiency testing that distracts attention from safety programs, and a natural complacency that sets in as years pass without a shooting of the magnitude of Columbine.

There's another factor, he said.

"From April of 1999 until Sept. 10, 2001, everyone was on the school safety bandwagon," he said. "On Sept. 11, they fell off and disappeared."

Tom Mauser, whose 15-year-old son, Daniel, was killed at Columbine, also notes weariness on the topic.

"School-wise, there hasn't been a lot of progress," he said.

Mauser is the board president of Colorado Ceasefire, a group that supports gun-safety proposals. The group has had intermittent success.

He cites a powerful gun lobby and, like Trump, a certain distraction.

"I think Americans tend to worry about what's in front of them," Mauser said.

"Unfortunately, one downside - if you want to call it that - to Columbine is that people tend to compare everything to it," he said. "The good thing is that we haven't had any more Columbines. The bad thing is that we still lose an awful lot of young people every day to gunshots."

Remembering Columbine

What: A remembrance service, with presentations by the Columbine High School choir, families, survivors, alumni and others. A candlelight vigil will follow.

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: Clement Park Amphitheater
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Old 04-21-2004, 01:19 PM   #17
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Right but my point was this kid's mother saw signs and did nothing. The problems happen before the kids get to school, the problems do not lie 100% in the schools.
Agreed. Of course being bullied is horrible, but I can't honestly say that I wouldn't shy away from those guys (I wouldn't pick on them though). Who wants to be best friend with a racist anti-semite? I guess this gets into the whole nature-nuture debate, but I think those guys needed help way before they even set foot inside that high school for the first time. I think what happened is terrible and tragic and I would blame the parents before anyone or anything else. If my mom knew that I hung out with other neo-Nazis and did the kinds of things they did, there would be hell to pay and she'd straighten me out (or at least TRY).

Parents these days are too much in denial. It happens everywhere to everyone. I have a friend who was in the top of her class, good at sports, prom queen, etc, etc and she's been distustingly anorexic since she started high school. Last semester (in college now) she got kicked out of the dorms and sent home with the intension of seeking treatment. But she looks worse, if anything. I want to slap her mom in the face and say LOOK AT YOUR DAUGHTER. Sometimes parents letting kids figure things out for themselves borders on neglect and abuse.
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Old 04-21-2004, 01:26 PM   #18
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Right but my point was this kid's mother saw signs and did nothing. The problems happen before the kids get to school, the problems do not lie 100% in the schools.
Sad but true, again, most people always think nothing like that is going to happen with anyone they know. It's always the other guy.

Even the cops won't act unless something actually happens. You can't just turn somebody in and say you 'think' they're going to do something. There is one tragic story I saw on the news once where a girl had split with her abusive husband and was living with her sister. It was the girl's 28th birthday and her sister and some friends were having a party in the backyard with a stockade fence around it. The ex husband came out of his house with a gun and told the next door neighbor he was going to kill his wife. The lady was a friend and knew where she was so she immediately called the cops and told them to get over there he was coming with a gun. The cops said they couldn't send anyone on word of mouth if he hadn't really done anything but if he showed up with the gun to call again! The neighbor was upset and stunned. She hung up and called the girl's sister and told her to look out he was on his way with a gun. But by then he was already there jumping the fence and killing her
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Old 05-17-2004, 08:03 AM   #19
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Interesting..I understand how they can still be in so much denial, but it is offensive in my opinion to the victims' families

http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/Central/0....ap/index.html
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Old 05-17-2004, 08:12 AM   #20
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I know someone who is from Littleton, and he went to the neighboring public school to Columbine. He mentioned that the school was generally very polarized and "cliquey," and I doubt even I'd want to have gone there.

I also do question whether it is fair to blame the parents automatically. Anyone who is a parent will realize that it is *impossible* to control what their children are doing 100% of the time, especially as they get older. No, the blame should go squarely where it belongs: on the two boys themselves.

This American obsession with blame is getting out of hand.

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