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Why were so many students killed at the Columbine High School shootings?  As a teacher, it would be well worth your reviewing the following material.  There are lessons in it that you need to know in order to make your job safer.

Watch the Columbine Final Report.

Columbine Final Report (all  five parts - runs 44 minutes)
Now consider these lessons from this report.

1.   In the final report there is a scene showing a policeman holding about seven students at rifle point against a wall.  Why was he doing this?

      Answer:  Very likely the policeman, who was not in the school, does not know who the shooter is.  To him, the killer could be any one of the students.  However, teachers in the school at the time of the shooting near the killers did know who was doing the shooting and who was not.  They might not have known their names, but they saw the shooters and ran from them.  The lesson here is that only the school staff has the information necessary to quickly stop a school massacre.

2.  At one point in the summary report the narrator says that the two murderers killed themselves and it was over three hours before the police reached the bodies in the library.  Why did it take the police so long to actually reach the killers?

      Answer:  Apparently it was concern over personal safety.  They did not want to enter because of fear of being shot or injured by explosives that had been reported to have been set off in the school.  If the teachers at Columbine had been trained and armed the entire incident would have ended quickly.  Why?  Because the teachers were already in the school and those close to the shooting knew who they had to stop.
  The Lesson is that the killers need to be stopped quickly.   How confident are you that if a killer was in your school that the police would rush in and stop him?  Would you bet your life on their quick intervention?

3.  What two significant things were happening while the police delayed entry until the murderers had killed themselves?

     Answer:  First and most obvious, the murderous, unstoppable rampage continued.  More students and teachers died as time moved on.   Second, and equally important, those that had received non-lethal wounds did not receive prompt medical care.  You may remember the narrator commenting that a male teacher, who had been shot earlier, died of his wounds.  He could have been saved if good people (the teachers) had control of the school.  The lesson here points to the need for teachers to quickly seize control back from the killers so that medical help can reach those who are hurt but still living.  This can only be accomplished if the school staff is trained and armed. 

4.   Why did the teachers run and hide, sometimes for as long three hours?  

     Answer:  Because the state laws did not allow the teachers to have the means to protect themselves and their students.  The unarmed teacher is helpless to protect students, and it is all a teacher can do to just survive.  When a murderer comes into your school, running out the door or hiding in a closet does not protect the students.  Are you going to protect your students, or abandon them to the killer and run or hide?  If you chose "protect my students", then you should support the effort to arm the teachers in all of your schools.  The lesson is that you must be prepared to meet force with force if you are going to protect your students.

So, why were so many children killed at Columbine High School?  The answer is that the teachers and staff in a school are the first responders, and the Columbine teachers and staff were unarmed because the school was required by law to be a "gun-free zone" for all law-abiding citizens.  The law did not stop criminals (deranged murderers) from bringing rifles, pistols, and pipe bombs into the school.

For additional information, read this summary report:   Columbine

which is shown in the column to the right.