Great. More wrong answers.

Let's get this straight. The Trenchcoat Mafia meant nearly nothing. As of the 1998-1999 school year the 'mafia' did not exist. The leading members graduated and moved on. The remaining few students were nowhere near as prominent as the original group.

When they were a group (of probably 10 max) they were peaceful (though there was at least one incident within the group) and generally respectful of others. The other students either disliked them or didn't care.

Too bad for most of you that never got to meet any of the group. I did, and was decent friends with one of them before they graduated in 1998.

When the tragedy at Columbine occured, I was talking on the phone from work, at an elementary school where I did an afterschool daycare program. Just before I got on the phone, I had helped break up a vicious fight between a 3rd grader and a 2nd grader. The horrible words that came out of them! The looks on their faces! They really wanted to kill each other! I remember when I was in school (1982-1995), there were lots of fights. I saw a boy break my math teacher's jaw in 8th grade. I never would've thought he'd kill her. I think it surprised him that he hurt her at all! I never saw the murderous tendencies that I see in some of the kids today.

Being a part of the "goth scene" in school (more punk or skater actually), I can understand how it feels to be treated like dirt because of my appearance and because of being active in theatre, band, choir, and environmentalism; I came from a football town! My feeling was always more like, "I can't wait to get out of here!" But I never felt the rage these kids now feel. I wish I could understand it.

I think I was pretty successful with the kids I worked with. Eventually I had to quit though, for a few reasons. One was that I was afraid. I thought a kid would kill me, or something. One of the main reasons I had to leave was the parents. I had a lot of kids with divorced parents, and they generally made it a point to talk negatively to their kids about their ex-spouse (I.E. "I'm gonna kill your dad!") These kids grow up in such a hateful environment, I guess it's no surprise they get driven to kill, you know?

I really feel for those kids, and I hope that my 2 years in daycare had a positive effect on a few of them so they don't feel compelled to live out hate and despair in the way that the kids in Columbine did. Those kids needed someone to give a rats-ass about them, and they never got it. While I don't by any means whatsoever condone what they did, I understand it, and I hope that the parents in that area learned that maybe they need to show their children a little more in their upbringing than, "You better cut that hair, and play football!"

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