Columbine Massacre Laura Cantegreil Porschea Clarke Rachel Halfpenny Jessica Henderson Jessica Major Kayleigh Marsh Davis Abbie Willis
Introduction • During the module so far we have been looking at the testimonies and stories of those that have survived trauma within their lives. Traumatic events that have occurred throughout history are often well documented through not only text books and photographs but also by the spoken account of someone, that actually experienced the event sharing their experiences and perspective. • The event we have chosen to investigate and explore further is ‘The Columbine Massacre’, in which two high school friends, Eric David Harris and Dylan BennetKlebold, arrived at their school on April 20th 1999, armed with weapons and ammunition with the aim of killing as many people as possible before ending their own lives.
Introduction • Throughout this presentation we will be discussing: • How the event was documented and portrayed at the time • How the event has been represented since then through the use of media and performance • The testimonies of the victims and the families affected by the massacre • The lasting effects of the traumatic event to the victims, their families but also the families of the perpetrators
Eric David Harris was born 1981 in Wichita, Kansas, he and his familymoved to Littleton, Colorado in 1993 when his father retired frommilitary service. • Dylan BennetKlebold was also born in 1981, in Lakewood, Colorado. • Eric and Dylan became friends 1996, and bonded over a love of videogames. Close friends would say after the massacre that they noticed a severe shift in Dylan’s personality once he befriended Eric. • Both boys were unpopular in school and suffered from bullying,incidents reportedly include having ‘a cup of fecal matter’ thrownonto them, and being pelted with ketchup covered tampons bysenior classmates. Along with verbal taunting and threats. • Many teachers described them as violent, angry, and admirers ofNazism, and claim to have reported their concerns to the school.However this was never communicated to the parents and no actionwas ever taken against them. • For a school project, the boys made a video called ‘Hitmen for Hire,’ in which they filmed themselves walking down the school hallway and murdering fellow students. Both also showed extremely violent themes in creative writing projects.
Eric Harris had a public website online in which he openly expressed hisanger towards students and teachers at Columbine High School. Healso posted the results of experiments that he and Dylan Kleboldconducted with pipe bombs. • In 1998, the pair was arrested for breaking into a van and attempting tosteal some tools. They received 10 months of community serviceand counseling for the crime but were released on good behavior. • Shortly after the arrest, both began keeping journals with detailed plansof how they were going to carry out their massacre. They also madeseveral video tapes, referred to as ‘The Basement Tapes,’ about howthey were going to exact their revenge. These were not released tothe public. • There is also a report filed against Eric Harris for violence against fellowstudent Brooks Brown. This information was not made public until2001 although police were aware. • A few days before the attack, Eric Harris was rejected from the MarineCorps because he was taking the anti-depressant Fluvoxamine.
Interpretations in terms of performance There have not been any stage performances created about the massacre. However there have been a series of tributes created for the victims. And a few films that have taken inspiration from the events such as April Showers, and Dawn Anna about the mother of Lauren Townsend a girl killed in the massacre. Why? Time Geography Testimonies There are many recordings of the tragedy and testimonies of those involved
Elephant(The closest thing to a film about the Columbine massacre as an event) • Relationship to a fictional frame. • Link; • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRSiA6g1A-4
Source: http://www.rachelschallenge.org/ "I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go."
Rachel's Challenge is a series of student empowering programs and strategies that equip students and adults to combat bullying and feelings of isolation and despair by creating a culture of kindness and compassion. Rachel left a legacy of reaching out to those who were different, who were picked on by others, or who were new at her school.
The Missing Narratives • Parents • Victims Why? • Perpetrators
The Missing Narratives • Andy Nowicki • Followed The Columbine Massacre • Met Survivor Richard Castaldo • http://www.alternativeright.com/main/blogs/zeitgeist/new-testimony-from-a-columbine-survivor/
Media • The Media played a huge part during the massacre relaying information to the public and especially parents, family and friends of those who was at columbine school on the 20th April 1999. Other than being the main communicator the media was used to give contact information, bereavement call centres and police directory lines in accordance to information regarding the killers or people who had been killed. Many local news stations such as CNN and ABC covered the evacuation and location of the killers whilst the American public could only watch in terror. • This clip shows the evacuation of some of the students and the emergency calls that were made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0Au1hvHlkE
Media • Super Columbine Massacre was a game created by youths which haven't been described for human rights reasons. The game allows a player to explore likeness of the events that morning. It asks players to relive that day through the eyes of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, those responsible for the deadliest school shooting in American history • http://columbinegame.com
The Truth About ColumbineAndrew Gumbel, The Guardian, 17/04/2009) • Andrew Gumbels argument that media is a load of nonsense. It was the bloodiest, creepiest, most vivid school attack anyone at the time could remember and remains, to this day, the episode the American popular imagination just can't seem to shake. • Denver television crews got there while the horrors were unfolding, and the cameras did not stop rolling for a week. That, in retrospect, may not have been an entirely good thing. • Harris and Klebold did not just gun down their victims in cold blood. They laughed and hollered while they were doing it, as though they were having the time of their lives. Gumbel's reply's to this was, thats the version we were told anyway. • How the media made the event not quite what it seemed. • The illusion of an ordeal lasting for hours - some television stations even described it as a hostage stand-off - was just the first of many misconceptions. • The traumatized students were repeating things they had heard off the tele coverage. • Rumoursabout Harris and Klebold. Are they someboy's wrongheaded assumptions.
Anthony Hopkins Column for New York Times • What drove these boys to commit such horrific acts and kill innocent people? Soon enough, attention turned to the parents of Klebold and Harris. • How had they failed to notice anything prior to April 20, 1999, especially since there were numerous guns and bombs within their own homes? It began to raise the question of whether parents truly know their children and asked us how responsible we are for our children's actions. • Both famillies of the boys suffered trauma through threats but also the loss of their children. • Susan Klebolds story on her research into her sons mental health to try and understand. • ''Dylan did not do this because of the way he was raised,'' Susan said. ''He did it in contradiction to the way he was raised.’’ • ''I forgive you for what you've done.’’ • Relate to mother to mother.