Editorial: lessons at Columbine
One year ago, Littleton, Colo., was just another spot on the map for most residents of Douglas County.
All that changed on April, 20, 1999, when two students opened fire on their classmates and teachers before killing themselves. Fifteen people died and school safety moved to the top of the list of concerns for many parents and community members.
After that horrible day, Douglas County formed a school safety task force of educators and law enforcement officials to address many of the same issues that turned Columbine High School into such a deadly place.
The task force has planned a school safety symposium for parents, and all community members on Wednesday, Oct. 20, from 6:30 to 9:15 p.m. at Douglas High School. The event is expected to draw a large crowd because the keynote speaker is Sheriff John Stone of Jefferson County, Colo., who was faced with the terrible task of investigating the shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton.
Other speakers will include Douglas County’s own professionals who know the potential is there for the Carson Valley – or ANY community – to become another Columbine. The school safety task force has done everything possible to make Wednesday night’s program accessible to residents. Babysitters will be provided on site for people with young children. If you live at Lake Tahoe, you can call ahead of time and make arrangements for transportation. Contact Whittell High School Principal Howard Bennett at 588-2446.
Your job is to show up and pay attention.
There is much to be learned from the tragedy at Columbine High School. If you think it can’t happen here, remember the families of the victims who had every reason to share those sentiments just a short year ago.
For information about the symposium, call school communications liaison Maggie Allen, 782-5135 or Sgt. Lance Modispacher, 782-9931.