It was the most terrifying moment of my high school life.
I was called into the vice-principal’s office. When I got there I was informed that my name was number one on a list made by a (now expelled) student of whom he intended to kill when he brought a gun to school in the coming days. I was stunned; I knew this kid. We had mutual friends. He was bullied by the jocks & whatnot but it had been said that unlike the other popular kids, I was nice to everyone.
This kid was pulling a copycat version of the Columbine Massacre, which occurred 13 years ago today. The acts of Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold took the lives of 12 students, one teacher & injured 21 others before Harris & Klebold took their lives. These boys may have been victims but they are not heroes, nor martyrs. They are mass murderers, nothing more.
In this new era of bullying, I expected to see many news & social networking outlets covering the anniversary of that day to remind us how extreme things can get. Instead, I found “Happy get high day!”
I am disgusted & floored. The memories of 13 innocent bystanders ignored & erased because people want to do what Afro Man suggested?! Really?!
This is why these acts continue; we forget. We let the families carry the burden alone & forget that things like Columbine (& other subsequent copycat crimes) can happen. We forget about the kids that committed suicide from bullying & move on to the next big thing. We need to stop forgetting. We need to remind ourselves so that these bright young lives were lost in vain.
These kids were my age. Think today; would they have kids now? Would they have gotten married? Where would they have gone to college? These people lost out on the rest of their lives because the school board & two sets of parents failed to recognize a problem. The least we can do is remember them for the rest of ours.
As for the young man who wanted to shoot me, I became his friend later in our adult years. He was a good person who cleaned up his act & unfortunately was lost too soon (natural causes). One day, I asked him why me? Why was I the first person he wanted to kill? His answer; “Geographical convenience. You were in the Student Parliament office when I planned to come in, I figured I could shoot you first to show I was serious.”
To anyone who reads this blog, bullying is WRONG. If you know anyone who is being bullied, reach out to them. If you need an outlet, we will listen. Email firstname.lastname@example.org & we will listen if you feel there’s simply no one else. But there is always someone & you are not alone.