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Colorado Shooting - April/May/June 1999 

Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999
From: Kerstin Otto <kotto@tak.schule.de>
Subject: TAK_TL: shooting in Colorado

Hello everybody:

Students from Klosterschule, Hamburg, have already started asking questions and making comments about Tuesday's shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, a suburb on Denver's southern edge.

Twelve students and one teacher were killed (most in the school library) by two students who shot their fellow students and set off many explosives before taking their own lives. Twenty-two students were hospitalized. Many have been released and the remaining have a good chance of surviving.

The two killers, 17 and 18 years old, were members of a clique called the Trench Coat Mafia. The police believe that two other students were responsible for the massacre.

The question I think needs to be asked it this: ***what can we learn from this?*** The victims of this massacre all had dreams and plans for their future. Their deaths should not be in vain!

Do children, do YOU, grow up in a society that has little respect for life??
Do children watch too many movies and play too many video games that glorify killing?
What is wrong with our society when two "normal boys" who played a team sport - baseball - can let their hate drive them so far. 

* Do you still feel safe in your schools??*

Please, share your opinion with the rest of us. Write to
teenage_life@tak.schule.de

We used to have students from Fort Collins, just north of Denver, participating in the TAC. Boltz Junior High students, if you are still there, could you tell us what Colorado students talk about these days? What impact does this shooting have on your own lives?
                                Kerstin Otto, TAK - Teenage_Life


Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 
From: Winnie, Klosterschule Hamburg
Subject: About the massacre in Colorado!!!

Hello you!!!
What do you think about the shooting in Colorado? Near Denver. I think it is very bad! I can't understand the two boys who did that. What did they think in the moment when they shot someone. I think you shouldn't be able to get guns so easily. Everyone in America is allowed to have guns.
What do you think about that difficult thing? In the lesson we spoke about that. About thirteen pupils were killed!!! The two boys killed innocent pupils. I could never do something like that! They were two boys from the "trench coat mafia".
One guess is that they did it because they were expelled of the school.
Do you know anything more about that?
Or do you want to tell me your opinion?
Then write me back soon!!!
Your Winnie!!!


Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 09:56:36 -0400
From: Greg, Findlay, Ohio
Subject: About the massacre in Colorado!!! to winnie

Winnie,
the massacre in Colorado should be looked at as a reflection of the laws America has regarding guns. You are right when you say they are easy to get, but that doesn't mean everyone has them.
The boys were both students of Columbine HIgh School and were constantly picked on there. They had been planning the attack for a long time and it was not just an all of a sudden thing. Many people mocked them for many years and the Trench Coat Mafia had very little if anything at all to do with the shooting. They were obviously thinking that this was the only way for them to get back at the people who were making fun of them for all those years. They went mostly after jocks or athletes and a few of the people were Christians and a few were killed due to their race. 
The gun laws here are definitely not tough enough to keep guns out of the hand of children, but don't think that all Americans would go to the level these boys did, they were distraught and they were pushed to go as far as they did, I am not condoning their actions, but I'm not condoning people being made fun of either. I have heard some of the other kids from the school saying that the boys were never bad before that day that they were just a little different and secluded to their own little group.

I hope that my writing has helped you to be able to understand better what happened at Columbine High and that you realize that not all Americans agree with the gun laws we have in this country. Thanks for taking time to read my response.
Expressing Opinions and Facts,
Greg


Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 
From: Angel, Findlay, Ohio
Subject: About the massacre in Colorado!!!

Hello Winnie,
I am disgusted with what happened. It was 12 students that died and one teacher. Plus the killers, 15 died. They were supposedly outcasts. You know, the kind of people who are made fun of and don't say anything. Well that's still no excuse. I have been made fun of but I do not resort to violence. I do not think that the guns were their own. They probably got them from their parents, or may be stole them. It is not that easy to get a gun. You have to have an extensive backround search done first.
-Angel
 


Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 
From: Elizabeth, Fort Collins HS, Colorado
Subject: About the massacre in Colorado!!!

I am a student from Colorado. My home is only 45 min from Littleton.What has happened has been quite a tragic for everyone in my school. Fort Collins High school is very much the came as Colombine. We are afraid that the same could happen at my school.

However there is no one to blame but the two students who did this. Their parents owned no guns; therefore, they got the guns and bombs on their own. It also must be cleared up that not everyone in America has a gun. In fact it is difficult to get them.
~Liz C.


Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999
From: Angel, Findlay, Ohio
Subject: Re: About the massacre in Colorado!!!

Hello Liz,
I hope you and your family are safe from this terrible tragedy. I was shocked when I saw what happened on the news. We had a bomb threat at my high school in December of last year and I now realize how fortunate I am that nothing happened. I am not very much oriented with guns, but don't you have an extensive backround check before you get one? And if we don't, do you think we should?
I look forward to hearing more of your opinions.
-Angel


Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999
From: Jojo, Klosterschule Hamburg
Subject: Massaker in Colorado!

An Alle!
Ich hab` mal eine Frage an euch:" Was denkt ihr über den Vorfall in der kleinen Stadt nahe Denver / Colorado ??" Leute zu töten, die niemandem etwas getan haben (15 wurden getötet), einfach Bomben zu schmeissen und mit den Gewehren drauf los zu ballern und nen` richtigen Grund hatten sie auch nicht gesagt . Ja, weil sie von Schule verwiesen wurden, ein guter Grund zu töten. Echt !!
Habt ihr gehört, dass ein Politiker aus der Gegend von Denver gesagt haben soll dass es nicht passiert wäre, wenn die Lehrer Waffen gehabt hätten ????????? Naja , also ich sag nix sonst reg`ich mich auf und kann nicht mehr aufhören mich aufzuregen, aber IHR sollt mir mehr darüber erzählen und natürlich das wichtigste: "Eure Meinung." Also schreibt und erzählt !!
gez:Jojo


Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999
From: Kirstin, Sue, Mitch, Eliza, Steven--Ohio State University, Mansfield
Subject: Massaker in Colorado!

Liebe Jojo,
Vielen Dank für deinen interessanten, provokanten Brief. Wir sind eine kleine Deutschklasse an der Ohio State Universität in Mansfield. Wir haben deinen E-Mail gelesen. Obwohl wir weit weg von Colorado sind, in einer gewissen Weise sind wir auch sehr nah (Die Waffen, die die Studenten benutzt haben, sind in Mansfield, OH hergestellt worden). Wir selbst verstehen dieses traurige Ereignis nicht. Die Situationen in unseren Schulen wird immer schlechter. Es gibt mehrere Gruppen, die die Rolle des Aussenseiters spielen und die miteinander kämpfen, sozusagen. Darüber hinaus ist es sehr leicht, Informationen über Bomben und Waffen zu bekommen. Wir sind das Land der Freien!! Es ist ganz normal für einen Menschen, ein Gewehr zu haben. Aber das ist nur ein Teil des Problems. Wir sind auch ein bisschen gewalttätig und - besonders mit den jungen Leuten- leben in "alternativen Welten" der Fantasie. Aber der Vorschlag des Politikers von Colorado, dass die Lehrer bewaffnet werden sollen, ist einfach gefährlich wenn nicht lächerlich. Na ja Schreib mal wieder.

Kirstin,Sue, Mitch, Eliza, Steven--Deutsch 201 an der OSU Mansfield


Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 
From: Jojo, Klosterschule
Subject: Massaker in Colorado, von Jojo

Hallo Kirstin, Sue, Mitch , Steven and Eliza
Vielen Dank fuer eure Antwort . Ich fand gut was ihr geschrieben habt , aber auch sehr erschütternd, wie z.B. dass in eurer "Schule" immer mehr Kids die Rolle des Ausenseiters spielen und miteinander kämpfen, und auch das es bei euch normal ist, dass jeder eine Waffe hat!
Bei uns braucht man einen Waffenschein, wenn man sich ne`Waffe kaufen will! Tut mir leid, mehr kann ich jetzt nicht schreiben, ich muss gleich nach hause. Schreibt wieder!!!
gez: Jojo


Date: Tue, 4 May 1999
From: Kirstin, Sue, Mitch, Eliza, Steven--Ohio State University, Mansfield
Subject: Massaker in Colorado, von Jojo

Liebe Jojo,
Danke fuer Deine Antwort. Bei uns hier an der OSU-Universität ist ist nicht so schlimm als in den "high schools." Wir sind toleranter irgendwie, mindestens nicht so extrem. Oft sprechen wir über diese Situation, über die Situation in den Vereinigten Staaten, die nicht immer so vereinigt
sind. Wir sind alle einverstanden, dass was in Colorado passiert ist, entsetzlich ist. Zur gleichen Zeit finden wir es schwer zu sagen, was wir dagegen tun können. Meinungen unserer kleinen Gruppe--

Sue--
Die Struktur unserer Familien ist in Verfall. Kinder und Eltern verbringen wenig Zeit miteinander. Innerhalb der Families kennen wir uns nicht!!

Kirstin--
Seit dem Massaker sind die Studenten bei dem Gymnasium, das ich besuche mehr oder weniger "eingesperrt." Ich finde das ein bisschen störend!! Das ist jenseits der Freitheit!!!

Mitch--
Heutzutage benehmen Kids sich nicht besonders gut. Sie machen was sie wollen, wann sie wollen. Die Eltern, wenn nicht geschieden, sind selten zu
Hause wegen der Arbeit. Diese Lage muss geändert werden.

Eliza--
Es gibt eine grosse Kluft zwischen wirtschaftlichen und gesellschaftlichen Schichten--die Spannung und Verfremdung zwischen Gruppen wächst ständig.

Naja. Das Leben wird komplizierter. Schreib mal wieder.
Steven


Date: Fri, 07 May 1999
From: Jojo, Klosterschule
Subject: Massaker,an OSU -Unistudenten

Hallo Sue, Kirstin, Mitch und Eliza!!
Danke fuer eure Antwort! Zu euren Meinungen, meine Meinungen:

Sue: Ja, du hast recht es ist leider so dass sich die Familien immer mehr auseinander leben und auch nicht mehr richtig " vollständig" sind. Ich finde das sehr schlimm!!

Kirstin: Jenseits der Freiheit... hmmm...Stimmt, ich fände es glaube ich auch störend, wenn die Studenten auf unserer Schule " eingesperrt" werden würden. Haben die Lehrer Angst, oder was??!

Mitch: Ja, Kids benehmen sich heutzutage echt nicht gut, aber ich glaube es hängt auch immer davon ab wie sie erzogen wurden, in welcher Umgebung(Umwelt),und ob jemand da war wenn sie sorgen hatten etc: zum reden!! Verstehst du? Dennoch glaube ich das JEDER , egal WO und WIE er erzogen wurde, sich manchmal auch "blöd" benimmt, vielleicht nicht so wie die Jungs in Colorado aber ...naja..!

Eliza: Von dem Wirtschafts- und Gesellschaftskrieg kriege ich persönlich nicht so viel mit weil mir das im Prinzip "echt egal" ist!! (Meine Meinung) Okay, Das Leben wird komplizierter deshalb müssen wir das "aller Beste" draus machen, aber es hat ja auch gute Seiten( Wenn auch nicht sehr oft)!
Wir hier sind uns auch einer Meinung, dass das in Colorado entsetzlich war. Meint ihr wirklich, dass man dagegen irgendetwas tun kann?? Wenn ja, WAS?? Wenn ihr es wisst redet, redet , redet auch wenn es schwer fällt, vielleicht bezweckt es etwas (da bin ich mir sicher)!
Schreibt bitte bald!!
gez:Jojo


Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999
From: Amber, Findlay, Ohio
Subject: Colorado Shooting

Tuesday was a sad day for many people, as our nation faced one of the hardest things. I feel that the students at Columbine High School who actually did the shooting or were involved in it honestly only wanted to get attention and revenge. These students were ridiculed and felt out of place, but did it have to resort to violence? If everyone could just sit back and put themselves in others position maybe those students in the "Trench Coat Mafia" wouldn't have had a need to get revenge. Unfortunately things did not happen that way! 

Also, the fact that these teens were able to build bombs in their basements should tell the parents of today something. I feel these students only wanted someone to love them, but it's something they never found so they crumbled and did the worst thing they could've done. 

I just hope that some learned from this tragedy. America can now, maybe, take control of their youth. The only problem is, "Life always gets worse before it gets better".

This was simply my opinions, and I thank you for taking time to read this. 
Sincerely,
Amber 


Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999
From: Angel, Findlay, Ohio
Subject: shooting in Colorado

Hello-
In response to your question, no. I do not think that people respect life as they should. I think this not only because of what happened in Colorado, but what happens in abortion, and euthanasia. ... I am also disgusted at how violent movies and tv shows are. Some of the things they show are just cruel and morbid. 
In my high school I do not feel safe, but I do not, at the moment, feel threatened either. We have nearly 3,000 students here and if you go to findlaysucks.com you will understand what I mean. I live in Findlay. Thank you for reading my opinion.
- Angel 


Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999
From: Hauptschule Wolbeck, Münster
Subject: colorado shooting

Hello everybody!
We are 17 students (4 girls, 13 boys) from a Hauptschule in Muenster, Germany.
In our English class we talked about that terrible shooting in Littleton, especially about possible reasons why teenager become violent. We don't think that video games or music by bands like "Marilyn Manson" or "Rammstein" can cause such violent behaviour. We believe the main problems are inattentive parents and a society that often leaves kids on their own.
In our school we feel pretty safe although there are fights and such things but no weapons (as far as we know, though) but we hear from other schools that there are stabbings or students carry gaspistols. It's frightening. We would like to know how the situation is at schools in America right now and how the incident at Littleton affects the daily school life. 
So please write us (German classes as well, of course) We are looking forward to responses,
- class 9E


Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 
From: Emilee, Findlay, Ohio
Subject: colorado shooting

I believe that it couldn't be only the music that caused those boys to act that way. Those boys must have had terrible lives at home to act like that. They may have gotten their ideas from the music, though. That's why I believe music like that should be banned, but of course they have the freedom of speech. 
Life in American schools has changed drastically. Students near Washington DC have not been able to go to school because students are calling in bomb threats that must be taken seriously. Students now are getting ideas of how to cancel school. This is not good. Students are also being arrested for making threats to teachers and peers. 
I like this idea because then I don't have to worry as much about being killed in my school. I just hope that this all simmers down and just kinda disappears... it would just be nice to go to school and know that I am safe.
Emilee


Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999
From: Andrea, Findlay, Ohio 
Subject: Kids wanting attention will kill

As the world watched in horror, we saw students being killed at Columbine High School by two of their peers. Parents start asking questions why would these kids have so much hate to resolve to killing others? They come up with the answer that children are not getting enough attention these days from parents and other adults in their life.
Parents know that they need to listen more but they don't know how to notice when a child might be crying out for help. Everyone needs to listen to people whenever they're talking and whatever they might be talking about. The world needs to learn every stage of depression so they can help these disturbed children out. 
Thank you for your time reading my opinions and thoughts about the horrible incident that happened.
Sincerely,
Andrea H.


Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999
From: Greg, Findlay, Ohio
Subject: Littleton Tragedy

Dear friends,

As we look back at the events of this past week, we should all be grateful that we were lucky enough to be spared this tragedy at our own schools. Though it may not seem like it is possible the same thing could happen at any school at any given time in any city anywhere. Just because these boys were picked on doesn't mean that they were in the right when they decided to act out this vile deed. My ideas are that in order to keep something like this from happening again we need to take
certain precautions to make sure that it won't. The shooting was not a good thing, but something good can always come out of something bad, we can use this as a kind of warning. If you overhear someone talking about killing people, report it right away, this could prevent problems later on. 

These boys killed thirteen kids not including themselves. This cannot happen again, and we can not live in fear either. The Bible says that we do not need to be afraid for the Lord OUR God is with us. Now is the time that we need him more than ever. You may not believe and you may think this is kind of cheesey, but who do you cry out to when you are in trouble, I've never heard anyone pray to their brother before. We need to be defenders of truth for all those that do not know the Lord. As for your schools, I don't know what if anything will ever happen there, but I believe that if we put our trust in God then anything that is bad will eventually be made into good. I thank you all for your time, and I hope
you got something out of my letter.
Expressing Beliefs,
Greg


Date: Fri, 07 May 1999
From: Jojo, Klosterschule Hamburg
Subject: Blutbad ,an Dennis

Hello Dennis! 
Danke das du mir deine Meinung über das Massaker in Colorado geschrieben hast!! Ist egal, dass du nicht sooo gut deutsch kannst, ich hab`trotzdem verstanden, was du gemeint hast. Ja, sicher waren die Jungs nicht die einzigen, die Attentate auf andere abgesehen haben,a ber die anderen wurden bestimmt schon festgenommen oder sind noch dabei zu "planen". Was ich nicht kapiere ist das die Eltern der Boys nichts gemerkt haben , ich meine, die müssen doch die Bücher, wie mann Bomben konstruiert, in den Zimmern der Jungs rumliegend gesehen haben. Jedenfalls glaube ich, dass die Eltern der Kids nicht ganz unschuldig daran waren!
gez:Jojo


Date: Fri, 07 May 1999
From: Carina, Klosterschule Hamburg
Subject: Gewalt in Schulen

Hallo Christina !
Ich finde deinen Brief sehr interessant. Ich heisse Carina und ich komme aus Hamburg.

Unsere Schulen haben dieses Problem nicht, denn in Deutschland wird mit den Waffen strenger umgegangen, ohne Waffenschein darf auch ein Erwachsener keine Waffe haben. In den meissten Schulen hier werden schon leichte Prügeleien mit kleineren Strafen bestraft, um so etwas schlimmeres zu vermeiden. 

Was hast du vor zu tun, wenn diese Situation auch bei euch eintritt? Denkst du, dass es besser wäre, wenn die Lehrer selbst Waffen hätten, oder
Aufseher in Schulen aufgestellt würden, die Waffen hätten und sie auch einsetzen dürften?

Bitte schreibe mir zurück in Deutsch oder Englisch.
Bis bald, Carina.


Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 From: Sandra and Manuel, Anna-Essinger-Gymnasium, Ulm Subject: Comment about shooting in Denver

Hello to everybody!

Some people in America say, that the major problem is the growing loss of moral values among youths and not the easy access to weapons.

We (two pupils from Ulm/Germany) don't agree with that point of view. In Germany it' s nearly the same situation: even at German elementary schools the pupils are more and more agressive and criminal ( e.g. extortions are even happening among six to ten year- old kids). And the older these "young criminals" get, the more unscrupulous they are. 

What do you think would happen if you legalized the possession of weapons here in Germany? Couldn' t there occur the same as in Denver? -Well, now you can say that the inhibition of German pupils to kill their classmates is perhaps a little bit higher, because a disaster like in Denver has never happened in Germany up to now. But the tendency (that pupils get more and more aggressive and violent) you can also find in Germany.
I' ll give you an example what can happen if a German pupil gets access to weapons: When I was in elementary school (2nd grade) a guy from an upper class shot with a gas pistol (from his father) at younger pupils.What do you think would happen around here if you legalized weapons?

Greetings,
Sandra & Manuel (13)


Date: Tue, 08 Jun 1999 09:49:50 -0400
From: Alex, Findlay, Ohio
Subject: Violence from Alex

To Tak:

The shootings in Columbine have been a great tragedy to schools and kids all over. Everyone is constantly looking for a solution to this school violence problem but no one seems to find an answer. I don't know the answer but I know what isn't the answer. I don't think movies or T.V. has anything to do with the violence in schools. I think our society does have respect for life but there just seems to be a few bad kids that give us all a bad name. 
Things like this didn't happen in my parents generation because recognition wasn't so great. Today that person gets there time of fame for killing and maybe that is where the problem is. We almost make these killers into "heros" with all the publicity they get. But YES I FEEL SAFE IN SCHOOL. We can not live in fear of the "bad guys". In my opinion, going to school in fear is like depriving me of my education, and depriving me of my education is just like taking my life away...


Date: Tue, 08 Jun 1999
From: Robert, Findlay, Ohio
Subject: violence in schools

Now that all the media coverage of the high school shootings has died down, and now that all the people involved in those tragic events are returning to their lives, the question arises: Why did it happen? The question, asked by the students of Klosterschule, Hamburg, Germany in this case, want to know is: are movies and video games to blame? Here is my answer: No. It is reasonable for those involved with all the tragedies that are occurring in the schools to want to blame something for all their pain. By having a target, a face for their anger, they may better recover, and may better understand the situation. Blame gives them back control. However, video games and movies are not responsible for all their pain: the gunmen are. No matter how many violent games or movies are out there, mentally unstable men and women will find an unhealthy way to vent their anger. It is an unfortunate fact of life. 
However, even if I am wrong, and video games and movies are a very influential part of school violence, I still believe that they are not wrong. Why? Because video games and movies are not what should be raising America's children: parents should be. It is their responsibility to say "this is not right for my child" and remove them from the environment. Games and movies entertain. That's all. If someone believes anything more than that, they are delving too deep into them. Those industries can't be blamed because two young men lost control of themselves and hurt a lot of people, and they can't be blamed for the fact that their parents are so foolish that they didn't know what was going on in their own homes.
President Clinton recently began to focus on the entertainment industry as a potentially bad influence on children. To those who agree with him, I say this: the President is using it as little more than a front to his "I Don't Have a Darn Clue What to do About Kosovo" Project. It's a distraction. Perhaps he should pour the million dollars being used in the study to educate America's parents instead. It'll be better than pointing fingers.
Robert
 

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