TOPICS > Education

Revisiting Columbine

BY Admin  May 20, 1999 at 11:00 AM EST

Six students were injured and the gunman has been taken into custody. The shooting comes on the day when President Clinton had already planned to discuss youth violence during a trip to Columbine High School marking the one month anniversary of the deadliest school shooting in American history.

On April 20, Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened fire with an assault pistol and 3 rifles killing 12 students, a teacher and themselves.

Clinton and his wife, Hillary, met with relatives of the 13 people killed in the rampage.

The trip is similar to the one taken last year to Springfield Oregon, when the president visited with victims of a school shooting there.

One of the injured survivors, 17-year-old Pat Ireland, is in a wheel chair and undergoing rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Englewood, CO.

He was the bloodied and dazed student dramatically rescued from the second story of Columbine High School.

The Columbine junior suffered traumatic brain injuries when two bullets entered the left side of his forehead. A third bullet struck him in the foot.

In the wake of the Columbine tragedy, the president has called on Americans to examine of the impact of violent images in video games, the availability of harmful information on the Internet, and issues of gun control.

Congress has heard the call. Vice President Gore broke a 50-50 Senate deadlock today over the Democratic amendment to the juvenile crime bill. The provision, sponsored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), closes the “loophole” for weapons purchased at gun shows and pawn shops.

Meanwhile, Jefferson County Schools are still cleaning up in the aftermath of the tragedy. School district spokesman Rick Kaufman said it could cost $50 million to repair damage from the shooting and pipe bombs planted by Harris and Klebold and for extra security and counseling for students and staff.

Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Jane Hammond has asked state lawmakers for $5 million to help cover the cost, citing a cash-flow problem that the district had before the massacre.

Lawmakers rejected her request, but Gov. Bill Owens has allocated $1 million from the state’s disaster fund. The state Board of Education is considering offering $600,000, and President Clinton has promised at least $1.5 million in federal support.