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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/16/09

Remembering Columbine's Children

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Message Debby Bodkin
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May God bless the families and Columbine High School community--you have taught us to unite with hope to protect all children. You are a gift to the world!  In response to Dave Cullen's new book "Columbine" as described at www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/04/14/DDDO16OMLS.DTL, there is still so much left to say to the parents, children, friends and families who lost their lives and loved ones during the Columbine High School shooting tragedy on April 20, 1999, ten years ago.

As a wife, mother and advocate for protecting children from sex crimes and other dangers, Columbine's parents and communities have shared personal stories of loss with us, with the hope that no other parent receives the same haunting call you received and/or views a media report that a "school shooting tragedy is now in progress."  May God bless you and the Columbine High School community for teaching us what it means to unite as a society and hopefully learn from past mistakes. 

Columbine's public outreach to educate school administrators, parents, children and government leaders is why school communities are safer today than they were on April 20, 1999.  Thank you for seeking corrective legislation and the federal passage of the "Gun Free Schools Act."  Your actions show what it means to be an American, living with guaranteed freedoms and speaking out for others who cannot protect themselves.

Even a decade later, the massacre at Columbine remains the deadliest crime committed in an American high school, which was followed by the Virginia Tech massacre, the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the clergy sex abuse crisis that erupted nationwide in June 2002.  Sadly, much that holds true about Columbine, also holds true for Virginia Tech, September 11 and the clergy sex abuse crisis--so much still locked in the dark drawers of historical memory.

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In fact, these tragic events have joined in the memories of the children who are now adults, those remembering the feelings of helplessness after the tragic assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Senator Robert Kennedy.  As a student in 3rd grade when President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, I will never forget the horror on my teacher's face and watching my parents struggle with terror in their eyes--the President of the United States of America is dead!

As the ten year anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre of April 20, 1999 approaches, my hope is that religious, government, law enforcement, politics, legal and corporate resources take the time to "think out of the box" and take note of how the Columbine High School community united to speak out with hope that no other child would be exposed to school zone violence.   Because of the courage that followed the Columbine tragedy, we now have federal legislation, the "Gun Free Schools Act" that demands our children remain safe from gun violence, while attending private or public schools.

As an advocate for clergy abuse survivors and legislation similar to California 2003's Sex Abuse Law, I continue to struggle with witnessing the years of resistance from attorneys, government, law enforcement, religious, corporate and the faithful in the pews to confront the clergy sex abuse crisis head-on, with corrective legislation.  In my opinion, I believe that POLITICS continue to interfere with protecting God's most precious gift to the world, all children.  It is tragic that as a society, we cannot unite with intent to protect children from heinous sex crimes and school zone violence, free of political obstructions of justice.

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Thank you to all the courageous victims, families, attorneys, journalists, communities and supporters still believing that protections from sex abuse, school zone violence and all types of danger is not a POLITICAL decision.  You are changing the world for our children!  Without justice there will never be peace.  Without peace, faith and our country's laws are empty.

 

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As an amateur writer, mother, wife and legal secretary for the past 25 years, my passion for the courage of clergy sex abuse victims, their families and mandated reporters, who made a choice to protect children, before their own career security and (more...)
 
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