Columbine Anniversary: Lesson Unlearned

The 10th year anniversary of the Columbine  will bring the customary condolences and stock speeches by politicians. To be sure, the Columbine school shooting was a tragedy of epic proportions. The families, relatives, friends and co-workers of the victims of the tragedy deserve our most sincere care, concern, and remembrance. Despite what will be said about how much we have learned from the shooting, the truth is the lessons we have learned will not prevent another Columbine.

Undoubtedly, many lessons have been learned from Columbine. But, the most important continues to be overlooked or downplayed. The more salient lesson of Columbine is how the school experience turned disaffected and ill youth into killing machines. What we should be examining is how does this happen. In no way should Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold be absolved of any responsibility. They were cold-blooded murders. However, there are millions of Harris’ and Klebolds attending schools all across America.  They too are disaffected and estranged. The most important lesson from Columbine is that we have to finds ways of sheltering our youth with networks of care and concern that can help youth to navigate the trials and tribulations of adolescence. This is the real lesson which seems to have not been learned from the Columbine tragedy.


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