Passionate Emails

On this page are excerpts from emails I have received since the Columbine massacre that are passionate about school violence.  Some came from my family and friends, and two of them are from Columbine Survivors and I am very grateful that they allowed me to post their words on my website.  I get a lot of "Please forward this on" type email and that is how I came across the first two messages, as well as the picture on my home page.  

To start off, I'm using two stories I received from my own family members.  A reference to the author was provided with the first one, but the other I'm not sure who wrote it. These are very good messages as to why the shootings at Columbine High School could have happened.  


The New School Prayer

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.
If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.
Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.
For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.
We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.
We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy', our Senior King.
It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong.
We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.
It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot;
My soul please take!


This was written by a teen in Bagdad, Arizona.


When and Where Did It All Begin?

Let's see, I think it started when Madeline Murray O'Hare complained she didn't want any prayer in our schools, and we said, "Okay."  Then, someone said, "You better not read the Bible in school, the Bible
that says "thou shall not kill, thou shall not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself."  And we said, "Okay."
Dr. Benjamin Spock said, "We shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem."  And we said, "A child expert should know what he's talking about so we won't spank them anymore."  An expert?  He had no could he have been an expert?
Then someone said, "Teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave."  And the school administrators said, "No faculty member in this school better touch a student when they misbehave because we don't want any bad publicity, and we surely don't want to be sued."  And we
accepted their reasoning.
Then someone said, "Let's let our daughters have abortions if they want, and they won't even have to tell their parents."  And we said, "That's a grand idea. It's their body, and their right."
Then some wise school board member said, "Since boys will be boys and they're going to do it anyway, let's give our sons all the condoms they want, so they can have all the fun they desire, and we won't have to tell their parents they got them at school."  And we said," That's another great idea."
Then some of our top elected officials said, "It doesn't matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs."  And agreeing with them, we said,  "It doesn't matter to me what anyone, including the President, does in private as long as I have a job and the economy is good."
And then someone said, "Let's print magazines with pictures of nude women and call it wholesome down-to-earth appreciation for the beauty of the female body."  And we said, "We have no problem with that."  Then someone else took that appreciation a step further and published pictures of nude children and then stepped another step further still by making the pictures available on the Internet.   And we said, "They're entitled to their free speech."  And the entertainment industry said, "Let's make TV shows and movies that promote profanity, violence, and illicit sex.  And let's record music that encourages rape, drugs, murder, suicide, and satanic themes."  And we said, "It's just entertainment, it has no adverse effect, and nobody takes it seriously anyway, so go right ahead. What can it hurt?"
Therefore, now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, their family members, and even themselves.  Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with...  "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."

This message came from a friend and it covers the speech of Mr. Darrell Scott, father of Rachel, before the House Judiciary Committee on May 27, 1999.


Darrell Scott's Address to the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee -  May 27, 1999

On Thursday, May 27, 1999, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School Shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's sub-committee.  What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.  It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every
psychologist,    and every so-called expert!  These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt
that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness. The following is a portion of the transcript both good & evil in the hearts of men and women.
"We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and
the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers. The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.  Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.
"In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA.  I am not a member of the
NRA. I am not a hunter.  I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death.  Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended.  If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent.
"I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy - it was a spiritual event that should  be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies!  Much of the blame lies here in this room.  Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves.
"I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my  feelings best. This was written way before I knew I  would be speaking here today.

"Your laws ignore our deepest needs
Your words are empty air
You've stripped away our heritage
You've outlawed simple prayer
Now gunshots fill our classrooms
And precious children die
You seek for answers everywhere
And ask the question "Why"
You regulate restrictive laws
Through legislative creed
And yet you fail to understand
That God is what we need!"

"Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit.  When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc.  Spiritual influences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history.  Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries.  This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation?
"We have refused to honor God, and in doing so, we open the doors to hatred and violence.  And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs, politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA.  They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to eroding our personal and private liberties.
"We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors.  No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months
planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts. Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers. The young people of our nation hold the key.  There is a spiritual awakening taking place that will not be
"We do not need more religion. We do not need more gaudy television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage.  We do not need more million dollar church buildings built while people with basic needs are being ignored. We do need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God!
"As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right!  "I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School - prayer was brought back to our schools."
"Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God - given right to communicate with Him.  To those of you who would point your fingers at the NRA - I give to you a sincere challenge.  Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"

This message came from a friend who knows Columbine Survivor Mark Taylor.  I asked her if I could post his prayer here on my site and she contacted the Mark on my behalf. Mark agreed to allowing me to post his words here.


A Prayer from Mark Taylor, Columbine Survivor

Our Father who art in heavens hollow be thy name in our school. Thy kingdom
come thy will be done in our public institutions. Give us this day our daily
bread of the word of God.

And forgive our neglect of our young people. But lead us not into the
temptation of teaching them that they are just highly
evolved slime instead of an infinite gift from the father.

Deliver us from the evil of separation of church and state. And may prayer and the Lord be
welcome in our school's instead of pipe bombs, weapons, video game wars,
and gangs.

May we forgive those who have committed murder taught sexual immorality
and made a world without hope and a loving creator. For thine is the power
to rule all peoples of thee earth forever in your kingdom.

For no nation will long stand without praising you Glory and Righteousness.

The following message was sent to me by another friend, and written by Columbine Survivor Rich Hoover.  Two years after the massacre, Rich wrote this essay for his
correspondence English course.  This is Rich's essay.


    In my life, I have learned many lessons from the time I was little until this very day.  We learn small things everyday: do not touch the hot stove, do not spit in the wind, bridges are icy.  These lessons are learned from minor events in life, but the biggest lessons come from life-changing events. In the last few years, I have learned many valuable lessons that have affected my everyday life, from the way I treat others to my entire outlook on life.  One such valuable life lesson came from the shooting at my high school.
      Through my near-death and the death of my classmates, I realized the preciousness of  life.  April 20, 1999 started as  a normal school day: my history class watched a movie about World War Two and my language arts class picked groups for a group project. Then, during fourth period, I was in the Weight Room lifting weights when the fire alarm started ringing.   I leisurely walked out the door of the weight room, not knowing that some of my classmates would not have that same luxury.  When I got outside, I saw something I had never seen before: people running, people crying, mass
confusion. I did not know what to think, teachers were yelling at me to duck my head and run, I thought they were crazy.  I started asking friends, "what's going on?" and no one was really sure. Then law enforcement from all over the state started appearing: they came in car by car and  I knew something was terribly wrong.
     The first thought that crossed my mind, was "where are all my friends?" I looked for them everywhere; like a mental checklist just checking off friends as I found them.  After some time had past, we were told by the law enforcement to make our way to the public library about a mile from the school.  Once there, we were told to write our names on a huge list of students, a checklist of sorts for parents and students to see if their children and friends were okay.   After searching the library for sometime, I finally saw my mom; I yelled "mom!"  she turned, looked, and sprung to embrace me.  The look on her face made me realize that she was overwhelmed by the fact that I was alive.  This made me realize that I was minutes from being murdered and if that happened, how would my mom act and function? How would my friends react?  The lessons that I learned included that a person never knows what the future holds;  life can change in a matter of seconds; 
let the ones you love know that you love them every waking moment of the day; and make sure that you hold your relationships with your friends and family close to your heart because you just never know.
     In the days after that horrific day, within the tears, within in the grief, I found solitude.   I realized, that everything happens for a reason, in all that happened it is easy to question: what good can come of something so terrible?   After what happened at my school, the community and even our nation came together to grieve.  The world lent its hands to help me and my classmates along the path of healing.  In times of grief it is hard to think of how something like this could ever happen. I learned that  it is important
to keep your head up, look to the future, and always stay strong.  During my shell-shocked grieving period, Gerda Weissman, a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp taught me "the darker the night, the brighter the sunrise, and sometimes when its really dark, that just means you can see the stars better."

I received the following poem from Mike Cohen in Virginia Beach.  He wrote this on the first anniversary and some of the families have seen it. Hopefully, they'll all be able to see it now. 

From  The Angels

by Mike Cohen


We're taking good care of the ones whom you love

And though they are not in your sight

We know every day they're the ones you think of

And want you to know they're all right


Now Cassie is helping her friends keep their faith

She's with them in spirit and mind

And when it comes time for their journey up here

She knows they won't be left behind


And Corey is out on that beautiful boat

We've heard that he has Jesus wishing

That during his time to teach others on Earth

He hadn't told them to go fishing!


Yes, Kelly keeps writing her poems and tales

She's made friends with old Robert Frost

And you should hear how she can play that guitar

She wants you to know she's not lost


And Matthew is on our best team in the skies

And says practice isn't the hardest

Not only is he the best player we have

They tell us he's also the smartest


Now Rachel just loves to take pictures up here

And wants Craig to know she's OK

Her smile makes Heaven more beautiful still

She leads in our prayers each day


Well Dan R., he has his own special place here

In danger he thought first of friends

You know he lives on in the good that he did

For good souls a life never ends


Isaiah will really make Mom and Dad proud

There were some who thought he was small

Well here it is different, he really stands out

The size of his soul tells it all!


We've also found good things for Kyle to do

He's with Patton, Nimitz, and Ike

They welcome the vets when it's their time to come

We knew that was something he'd like!


And speaking of those who were ready to serve

We made a real ace out of Steve

He just got his wings and his own F-16

And does things you wouldn't believe!


Now John always knew that his purpose in life

Was helping those down on their luck

He still has his fun in our mountains up here

We got him a new Chevy truck!


And Dan M. is not sure what each day will bring

He also likes mountains, but skiing -

Or maybe he'll start a debate with the French

Yes, that will do for the time being


And no, Lauren isn't away from the net

She's running our v-ball team here

And helps with the life in the forests down there

So please know she always is near


And just to assure you they're in the best hands

They're under the watch of Coach Dave

He wants you to know that his only regret

Is that there weren't more he could save


So please, know your children are safe in God's hands

They really are happy, at peace

But please pray that others will live out their lives

And all that is senseless will cease.

 Never Forget Always Remember