Having worked in either journalism or education for my entire career Columbine is an inescapable memory.
I vividly recall being huddled around a television in the newsroom of the suburban D.C. newspaper where I worked on April 20, 1999. Being part of the process of reporting news of such tragedies, even at a distance, sears perceptions in the mind. I was in newsrooms during the chaos of 9/11 and the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building. It’s not something you forget.
Also having worked in education the cause and effect of Columbine is inescapable. Locked doors when school is in session, background checks for volunteers and the presence of dedicated counseling staffs to help students are the norm. It’s a completely different world than the ’80s high school with its outdoor smoking areas available to students and attempts to sneak out to McDonald’s during the lunch period.
Unless you were there it’s impossible to completely relate to the events at Columbine. A pastor, counselor and school official all talked to Everyday Christian about the importance of looking forward. That ability is undoubtedly aided by faith and a belief that the temporal challenges of today will not last forever.