On Columbine 20th Anniversary, SUNY Oswego's Jaclyn Schildkraut on What We Should Take Away

Apr 19, 2019

Jaclyn Schildkraut is an author and associate professor of criminal justice at SUNY Oswego.
Credit Oswego.edu

A SUNY Oswego Criminal Justice Expert has a different perspective on the anniversary of one of America’s most deadly mass shootings at a school.  The Columbine shooting in Colorado, which killed 13 people and wounded 20, took place 20 years ago tomorrow.  Professor Jaclyn Schildkraut knows it was an iconic tragedy, but it can be remembered with a different perspective.

“Columbine may have been a watershed moment but it wasn’t something where we didn’t learn anything.  So I think really kind of understanding the event, not in the context of the myths that have surrounded it, but really highlighting the victims, understanding how it impacted a community, and figuring out ways that we can give back in honor of the 13 victims.”

 Schildkraut has written a book: Columbine: 20 Years and Beyond.  She actually grew up in the Parkland, Florida community where the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas School killed 17.  

According to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, there's been a massive increase in the number of mass shootings in America over the last decade.
Credit OVC.NCJRS.gov

She knows how such tragedies can tear apart a community.  But Schildkraut also has suggestions to help … aside from calls for armed guards or more gun control.

“Kids today in schools are struggling.  We now that suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among kids that are 10-21-years-old.  Making sure that they get the necessary resources can help with a host of problems, not only these worst-case scenarios.” 

Schildkraut also says people can focus on all the school shootings that have been averted because, starting with Columbine, threat assessment and identifying troubled kids have improved. 

She says all the proceeds of her book are donated back to the Columbine Memorial Foundation, which she calls a place of healing and reflection.