As was widely publicized at the time, the Columbine shooting took place 20 years ago in April. It attracted much media attention and was the source of endless tweeting and other blather from the anti-gun community as a supposed our America’s sick gun culture.
But the shooting spawned a cottage industry of people who are obsessed with the tragedy, so much so that the school has had to deal with a sick kind of tourist, people who interested/infatuated with what happened there to the extent that they visit the school unannounced, creating potential security issues.
“Columbine High School has a gravitational-pull for these sorts of individuals,” (Jefferson County Public Schools superintendent Jason) Glass wrote. “Most of them are there to satisfy curiosity or a macabre, but harmless, interest in the school. For a small group of others, there is a potential intent to do harm.”
Case in point, Sol Pais. She was the Florida woman who traveled to Colorado for the twentieth anniversary of the shooting, made threats and bought a shotgun before committing suicide.
Now, as a result of the continued interest and the magnetic attraction the building seems to have for a certain type of individual, the Jefferson County School District is considering demolishing the building and rebuilding it.
The idea has sparked a backlash from some survivors of the shooting who say part of their healing process involves revisiting the site, whereas some longtime faculty, including the former principal, are leading the charge for the school’s destruction.
The debate has launched searching questions in Columbine that communities across the country have wrestled with regarding what to do with a place that induces such horrific memories.
Here’s the Associated Press’s report . . .
Authorities in a Colorado community are gauging support for demolishing Columbine High School and rebuilding it nearby.
In a letter Thursday, Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Jason Glass says the school building has remained “a source of inspiration” for people with a dark interest in the 1999 shooting that killed 12 students and a teacher. In April, a Florida teenager who authorities say was obsessed with the shooting and may have been planning an attack in Colorado just ahead of the 20th anniversary was found dead in an apparent suicide.
The district also released an online survey to assess community support for a ballot measure earmarking $60 million to $70 million for a Columbine construction project. Preliminary ideas include preserving the library built after the 1999 shooting and incorporating it into a new school building.
Glass says the number of people trying to enter the school or trespassing on its grounds reached record levels this year as the community marked the 20th anniversary of the massacre.