Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Wake-Up Call: Columbine rises again

You don't need a calendar to know that it's just one month until the tenth anniversary of the shootings at Columbine. You can tell by the flood of programs, movies and books pouring out.

The day-long "Colorado Rising: A Columbine Update," sponsored by School Safety Partners, kicks off at 9 a.m. today at the Denver Press Club, then moves to Johnson & Wales University for continuing discussions of school safety and Columbine's legacy.

One of those legacies is misinformation, and an example of it can be found in a rave by the influential VSL (Very Short List) website about local author Dave Cullen's new book, Columbine. The site's item reads in part:

Cullen can be scathing: He suggests that the Columbine Police Department covered up incriminating documents and accuses local evangelicals of using the massacre to draw converts. Nor does Cullen let himself off the hook -- like other members of the media, he misreported a great many facts.

Like the name of the police force, maybe? There is no Columbine Police Department -- although that mistake belongs to VSL, not Cullen.

Participants in "Colorado Rising" include Andrew Robinson, former Columbine student (some releases bill him as "survivor") and director of the film April Showers; Darrell Scott, whose daughter, Rachel, was definitely a victim of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold; Jeff Kass, author of Columbine: A True Crime Story; Frank DeAngelis, then and still Columbine High School principal; and "school and public safety decision-makers from more than twenty Colorado counties and school districts."

April Showers will screen at 4 p.m. at the Jared S. Polis Auditorium at Johnson & Wales University, followed by a discussion with Robinson and producer Jenna Edwards.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun