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Echoes Of Tragedy On Anniversary Of Columbine Shooting

Tom Dotan |
April 20, 2011 | 4:54 p.m. PDT

Associate News Editor


Courtesy of Creative Commons
Courtesy of Creative Commons
Columbine High School, site of one of the most notorious US school shootings in history, was closed Wednesday in solemn commemoration of the tragedy that occurred there 12 years ago.

On April 20, 1999 seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went on a shooting rampage, killing 12 students and one teacher before committing suicide. Though the dead may long since be buried and the memories begin to fade, many of the questions about school safety remain present and unanswered.

A consulting firm that specializes in school safety announced two years ago that “much of the progress made in the months and early years following the Columbine incident has stalled and even slipped backward in recent years.”

The report spoke specifically about budget cuts that have reduced the number of metal detectors and security cameras in schools, which could deter armed intruders.

The Washington Post looked into its reporting in the days after the shooting and published some of the student’s firsthand accounts of the moments of terror. It was one of the first times that information from a crisis was relayed live from cell phones as Columbine students called directly into news stations with updates.

And years later officials around the country still exhibit extreme caution with anyone making threats around the Columbine anniversary. A middle school in Wisconsin was closed Wednesday after administrators found “disturbing messages” written on a bathroom door.

A high school in San Jose was similarly shut down after graffiti in the school and threatening phone messages predicted a bombing.



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