It was thirteen years ago today that two ostracized teenagers took out their anger upon innocent classmates and teachers; killing twelve students, one teacher, and themselves by the time their violent assault was over. The reason for their mass carnage, it is believed, was because they were bullied.
Thirteen years later, the problem of bullying in schools has not dissipated; sadly, it has escalated to levels never imagined, fed by easy access to social media which has enabled those who bully to do so without having to actually face their victims.
Today I ask you to take a moment to pause and reflect on the problems of bullying in your community, and to ask yourself what you can do to help end the scourge that is destroying our youth - for when one person is bullied to the point of destruction, the one doing the bullying also loses a piece of their humanity. With bullying, there are no winners.
To follow is a list of the victims of the Columbine massacre, and a short biography of each (courtesy of About.com). May they never be forgotten:
A 17-year old junior who had dabbled in witchcraft and drugs had turned her life around two years before she was killed. She became active in her church and was restructuring her life. (Unfortunately, the story that circulated about her martyrdom was not true.)
A 14-year old freshman, Steven loved aviation and dreamed of becoming a Navy pilot. He also loved to play soccer and to watch the Star Wars movies.
A 17-year old who loved the outdoors, Corey loved to fish, camp, golf, and inline skate.
A quiet 16-year old who liked to spend time in the library writing short stories and poetry.
A shy, sweet sophomore, Matthew was a football player and a straight-A student.
A smart but shy 15-year old sophomore, Daniel had recently joined the debate team and the cross-country squad.
A 15-year old freshman, Daniel loved to play hockey and Nintendo with his friends. Often, after school he helped his father in his electrical store.
William "Dave" Sanders
A long-time teacher at Columbine, Dave was the girls' basketball and softball coach and taught business and computer classes. He had two daughters and five grandchildren.
May they all rest in peace.
Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.