I was 16 and a junior at Central High School. I was sitting in genetics class taking notes off of an old over head projector. Another teacher came into the room, walking pretty quickly, and came up and whispered something into my teacher’s ear. He stopped, turned on CNN, and we saw kids just like us running from their school and the building surrounded by cops and ambulances. The news of 2 kids shooting up their high school was coming from Columbine, Colorado. It was unlike anything we had ever seen or experienced before. For my generation, this is definitely a “where were you when you heard” type moment.
I know it’s hard for you youngins to even comprehend this, but we did not have smart phones. Smart phones did not even exist. The world we live in now of instant news at our finger tips was not a thing back in 1999. We had to watch the actual news on a actual TV. Even the Internet was a fairly new phenomenon. There was no one Facebook Live-ing the shooting, no news station on the scene Tweeting a play by play. We were just stuck in limbo, in horror, watching it all unfold together in that classroom.
It’s hard to describe the terror and fear I felt that day. What was going on? Was someone going to do this at Central? Was I safe? Sadly, I feel we are are almost desensitized to shootings anymore. We can barely go a day in this country without some type of shooting: at a school, at a theatre, at a hospital, on the side of the road, etc, etc. This was the first time I had ever even realized this was a thing that could happen. Now, it barely even elicits a response when I read on Twitter of yet ANOTHER shooting. And honestly, that is really sad. Is it a case of there actually being more violence now or us having access to so much news and information that we are bombarded with everything? *shrugs* Who knows?
As a mom who is getting ready to send her oldest to high school in a few months, I’m reliving the horror on a whole new level now. It’s one thing if I get shot, but my baby? Now you done woke the momma bear! All I can do is love and pray and spread that love and prayer all over. Thinking of those in Columbine today: love and prayers to them today and every day.