Wednesday (April 20) marked the 12th anniversary of the Columbine shootings. Students and communities found ways this week to remember the event and pay tribute to the victims’ families.
At Newman Middle School in Skiatook, Okla., students who may not have even been born at the time of the tragedy participated in Rachel’s Challenge. The nationwide project, which aims to prevent violence in schools through anti-bullying efforts, was created in remembrance of Rachel Scott, the first of 13 people who were killed in the shootings. According to KJRH.com, the students at Newman were encouraged to write notes about random acts of kindness, with the goal being to staple the notes together and wrap the “entire school in a chain of kindness.”
Meanwhile, Tuesday marked the premier of the documentary “13 families,” which is being shown exclusively in Arvada, Littleton, and Denver, Colo. As stated by the filmmakers on their website, the documentary puts the spotlight on the victims’ families in order to “tell the unvarnished truth of their experience.” Jeff Kass, who covered the shootings extensively, wrote in The Huffington Post that some of the victims’ families resented how the names of the shooters are often the ones ingrained in people’s memories, and not necessarily the names of their sons and daughters. This film hopes to change that. As Kass wrote, “Victims’ families are arguably taking ownership of this anniversary.”
Over at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., classes were cancelled on Wednesday. According to the Denver Post, no formal events took place, but the memorial site in Clement Park continues to be open to the public.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.