- Students at the American school devastated by a killing
spree less than four months ago will on Monday return to the scene of the
massacre for the first time amid increased security.
- Columbine High School in Colarado closed after students
Eric Harris, 18, and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold killed 12 of their classmates
and a teacher, before shooting themselves.
- Principal Frank DeAngelis will lead students, teachers
and staff in a "take back the school" rally and will raise a
US flag which has been at half-mast since the attack on April 20.
- Armed guards will stand at the entrance to the Denver
school as students return after their summer break.
- Around $1m has been spent on erasing evidence of the
- Bullet and shrapnel holes have been plastered and painted
over while a new wall now blocks the entrance to the second-floor library
where most of the victims died.
- As part of increased security measures, all students
at the school must now wear identification badges while 16 new security
cameras have been installed.
- But there has been a reluctance to introduce more drastic
security measures like metal detectors.
- School district spokesman Rick Kaufman said: "We
heard shortly after the tragedy and from lots of people - students, staff,
parents - that they didn't want their school to be turned into a fortress."
- Two mental health counsellors are to join the regular
staff of six counsellors at the school, while a "safe room" has
also been set up for students who need special attention during the first
week of class.
- Fear of media scrum
- Student Lindsey Neam said: "It's good to make changes.
I think it will make it easier for kids who saw things.
- "But for others it might make it harder, because
kids just want things to be the same. They want to get back to normal."
- Extra police will be on hand as the school re-opens,
primarily to handle the traffic and crowds the intense interest in the
school is likely to create.
- Indeed, there is concern that the media scrum which will
accompany the re-opening of the school could upset students.
- Tribute record sells thousands
- Joshua Lapp, 16, who witnessed several of the killings,
said he and others feel nervous about returning, but he especially dreads
facing a mob of cameras and reporters.
- Parents and former students plan to shield students and
teachers from the media attention by forming a human barrier along a path
between a secured parking lot and the school.
- On Saturday night, Stephen and Jon Cohen, members of
the Bible club at the school, performed at a Christian inspirational rally
attended by 2,000 people.
- The Cohens' tribute song to the murdered students, "Columbine
Friend of Mine," has sold 40,000 records.