Monday, April 20, 2009

Columbine, 10 Years Later

So much has changed since April 20, 1999.

Our Humble High School regularly performs lockdown drills, featuring local SWAT Teams. And while we haven't gone to metal detectors yet, Superintendent Man is considering security cameras at campuses thruout the district.

We've had a few "incidents," as the Powers That Be call them, at OHHS since Columbine. The kid who brought an unloaded revolver to school in his backpack, with ammunition on the side. Fortunately, he told someone he had it. Kid was gone by the end of first period.

Then there was the junior in a trenchcoat, who said he hated everybody. Turns out he had a collection of knives...including a Bowie Knife...sewn into the lining of his coat. Kid set a record for rapid expulsion. We haven't seen him since.

One crazy kid set off a bomb near the cafeteria right before school started. Molotov Cocktail variety. We spent a sunny May day in the football stadium. We returned to class the next day.

One idiot slapped homemade signs on the doors of the school one morning. They all said basically the same thing: "Lives are at steak." The SWAT Team & the Bomb Squad responded to that one. No bomb, no knives, no gun was ever found. No perpetrator charged, either.

And then this year, a young adult with no ties to the school arrived outside the main gym to settle a score. He flashed his piece. Turned out it was sawed-off BB gun. Dude's in jail now.

We've even had "comic relief" terror at OHHS, if you want to call it that. Young woman left an art project on top of her car. It was one of those "free form," "found items" deals...full of wires & batteries & cans & nails. Somebody saw this concoction & reported a bomb in the student parking lot. The County Bomb Squad responded to that one, complete with bomb-sniffing dogs & a robot. We all got a kick out of watching the mechanical beast hunt down its prey. And then we laughed...more from relief than from amusement...when the coast was cleared.

Folks will be talking about the 10th anniversary of the Columbine shootings today at school, for sure. So, it was with that in mind that I watched this heartwarming story on the news last nite.

5 Columbine survivors have returned to their suburban Denver school to teach. Where once they were cowering in classrooms, they now are at the helm of those classrooms. Where once they & their friends huddled together under the library tables to avoid Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold, they now take their classes to the library for research projects.

These 5, in my mind, demonstrate a strength of constitution & of character that I don't think I possess. I salute them & their mission. A teacher's place is with his students.


LadyStyx said...

Amen there. I worked for a private school in Louisiana from 1996-2000. We took security extremely seriously even with 300 total students (k4-12th grades). By my last year there (2000), all classrooms that had classes with students grade 5 and higher had cameras in them... even the Learning Center which contained the slower students.

Lynda said...

My little cousin was at Columbine when the shootings occurred... fortunately, she survived. What an awful experience.

Susie said...

It is very inspiring the things that came out of that awful day 10 years ago.

Veggie Mom said...

What a stand-up group of young people. They are both strong-and wise-souls.

Columbia Lily said...

i've thought a lot about what i would do if something like this happened at my school...and i just don't know.


MammaDawg said...

Whoa. I've always said that teachers have some amazing stories to share.

And kudos to those 5 survivors that came back to teach... a salute well deserved!

teachergirl said...

Read the new book, Columbine. It is an eyeopener. It is a hard read. But something everyone needs to do.

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