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More Tragedy at Columbine

Dateline: 5/5/00

The community of Littleton, Colorado has no more strength for tragedy. Yet today, just two weeks after the one-year anniversary of the worst school shooting in U.S. history, another young life has been lost.

Just hours ago, it was first reported that 17-year-old star athelete Greg Barnes killed himself in his home. Barnes was one of the most unfortunate survivors of the April 20, 1999 shooting by Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. Barnes witnessed the shooting of Dave Sanders, a Columbine teacher killed in the attack. He also lost his good friend Matt Kechter, one of the 12 students murdered at the school.

The Columbine community has been in a stressful spotlight ever since the day of the shooting, when the nation turned its collective attention to the event and its aftermath. In the past year, the people of Littleton have tried to effectively deal with this massive tragedy. However, they are repeatedly burdened by further death and grief. In October, the mother of Anne Marie Hochhalter, a seriously wounded student, killed herself. In February, two students were found mysteriously dead at a local Subway sandwich shop. Then, last month, the one year anniversary opened up many not-so-old psychological wounds. And, now this.

Although these disastrous events have all happened in a high school community, elementary school teachers would be naive to think that this could not happen in grades K-6. We can't help but wonder what went wrong and if it could possibly happen at our schools. What would we say to our emotionally battered students if we taught at Columbine?

Please join the discussion of this important issue on our K-6 Educators Message Board.

Violence Preventions Web Sites:

Your Guide, Beth Lewis
Elementary School Educators Guide

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