On this episode of History of the 90s, host Kathy Kenzora takes you back to the shootings at Columbine High School. She'll share the timeline and details from documents released by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and will talk to people who were there that day. She also addresses some of the myths about Columbine and look at the profound impact of one of the most tragic school shootings in US history.
After the shootings started, student Laura Farber, hid under a table in the cafeteria, unsure if it was real or a prank. Farber and others eventually ran from the cafeteria into a nearby neighbourhood, banging on the front door of several houses before someone let them in to safety.
Columbine Principal Frank DeAngelis, came face to face with one of the shooters as he escorted a group of students into the gym change room. Later he would assist police outside the school as they worked to contain the situation.
While all this was happening the world watched the drama unfold live on TV. A school shooting in the era of 24 hour news coverage created continuous coverage which left a permanent scar on our collective psyche.
Immediately following the drama the media reported that the shooters were bullied loners who were part of a group called “The Trench Coat Mafia.” It was suggested that they were taking revenge on jocks and others who had picked on them.
Professor James Densley from the Metropolitan State University in Minnesota, explains that in the years since the shooting we have learned that this narrative was incorrect and that the notoriety given to the shooters has reared a Columbine Generation.
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Laura Farber, Columbine survivor and documentary film maker
Frank DeAngelis, Former Columbine Principal and Author of They Call Me “Mr. De”: The Story of Columbine’s Heart, Resilience and Recovery
James Densley, Professor of Criminal Justice at Metropolitan State University