Those days when you’re in so much pain physically you think you’re going to die.
It’s almost as if there were two Columbines.
There is a school thousands of students have loved, the safe welcoming place Principal Frank DeAngelis described Thursday in his testimony to the Governor’s Columbine Review Commission.
Then there is the place Debra Sears’ stepsons attended in 1994 and 1995. A place where administrators and teachers turned their backs on the same alienation and bullying by jocks that some have suggested drove Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold to kill.
"It was relentless," she said. "The constant threats walking through the halls. You had a whole legion of people that would tell you that just going to school was unbearable."
In his Thursday testimony before the commission charged with looking into America’s deadliest school shooting, DeAngelis denied jocks or anyone else got away with bullying.
"We had problems just like any other high school," he said Friday. "But to say I turned my back is very inaccurate. If it was happening away from teachers, if it was happening away from administrators, how can I deal with that?"
Brian Rohrbough, who filed suit after his son Dan was killed in the April 20, 1999 shooting, says there’s a reason DeAngelis saw no jock bullying.
"Frank’s background," he said, "is athletics. Of course he’s going to see that as being normal. It’s going to be very difficult for him to tell the difference between that culture and something else that’s going on."
DeAngelis says that’s unfair.
"I am not going to feel badly because I was a coach," he said. "My No. 1 priority is the students. The jock mentality, to me that’s labeling students. It bothers me when I’ve been labeled as a jock principal. I take offense to that. What if someone said I was a skater principal or a geek principal?"
Toni Hauk, who has one son at Columbine and another who graduated, says her children never complained of bullying. One of her sons was friends with Dan Rohrbough.
She said she was proud DeAngelis had the courage to speak to the commission, even though he’s named in several families’ lawsuits.
Rohrbough said he doubts bullying drove Harris and Klebold to kill. But he said the school had plenty of evidence the boys were alienated, including class projects that foreshadowed their deadly rampage.
DeAngelis also denied to the commission that Harris and Klebold were alienated.
"If he was alienated, why did he show up at the prom?" he said of Klebold. "Why did he show up at after prom?" he said of Harris.
Columbine senior Devon Adams, who knew the killers, offered an explanation.
"Because a kid goes to the prom," she says, "doesn’t mean he’s not alienated. Eric didn’t go to the prom. Dylan did because Robyn (Anderson) convinced him to."
They were teased constantly, she said, called faggots, psychos and freaks. And not just by jocks.
"There were students who worked in the drama department who were mean to them," she said. "By no means does it excuse it, but I think they felt really alone and alienated but they didn’t know who to turn to."
Adams said she was surprised at DeAngelis’ testimony.
"Frankly," she said, "it hurt a lot. I consider him my friend. I think the man is really great. It hurt so much when I read in the paper what he said. I thought he really listened to his students. People I talked to were just like, ‘I can’t believe he said those things because, you know, we all know better."’
DeAngelis says he is telling the truth.
"When you have a high school of 2,000, to say that all kids loved the high school, that’s not going to happen," he said. "I’m a very positive person. That upsets people at times because they say, ‘How can people be so positive? How can things be so rosy?"’
DeAngelis said his door is always open. He suggests parents or students meet with him if they have a problem.
Sears says for her it’s too late. Her stepsons, she says, dropped out of Columbine and never earned diplomas. - August 26th, 2000
You also have these baby teenage mutant ninja turtles to protect you.
This is actually such a good tactic for people with serious anxiety problems. Thank you. Really. Omg.
True. I was in the hospital thinking I was going to die ( just a sever panic attack), and someone on a different site posted a chain mail picture in my comment section. Long story short, I feel better.
I hate when people transfer to my school and become popular no that’s bullshit I’ve been here for 12 years screw u