Events to mark Columbine anniversary draw criticism (Jessica Bies)
“A smattering of Delaware students appear to be planning student walkouts” on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, which reportedly “marked a new era of gun violence in the United States.” More importantly, a talk by Sen. Chris Coons at Middletown High School is scheduled. The senator will “talk about gun violence and take questions from about 400 juniors and seniors from both of the district’s high schools." What do you know, some community members were reportedly not “in favor of the idea” and one mother suggested that “politics don’t have any place in school.” However, “district officials say there are misperceptions about the event, which is intended to be a learning opportunity. The discussion will not be guided by school staff - Coons was chosen as the speaker because he has a reputation as a champion for bipartisan legislation and is a gun owner and recreational hunter - students may opt out and have study hall – talk will last 45 minutes – all students weren’t invited, only the AP students, due to seating limitations. The public was not invited to this event. Unless there is follow-up reporting about it, which as of 4/22 had not been published, we don’t know what Senator Coons said about “gun violence.” Nevertheless, we doubt this was a balanced presentation on the issue. See letter to editor, 4/22/18.