Yesterday my high school age daughter told me a classmate was pulled from a class because it was suspected he had a gun. They were interrupted while taking a test, and the kids were angry this boy was searched because he was a “straight A” student known to never be a problem.

However, he spoke about owning or having access to guns.

I thought it was an isolated incident, related to increased awareness due to the Virginia Tech massacre. However, tomorrow, at her school, the police department will be on the premises all day. The school will be searched for bombs before they arrive for classes. The kids may be subjected to searches for weapons.

Friday marks the eighth anniversary of the Columbine school shootings, when 15 people, including the two student shooters, were killed in Colorado. School officials at my daughter’s school know the kids are talking about Columbine and Virginia Tech, and are preparing for “copycat” acts. We live an hour from where our Amish neighbors suffered unbelievable loss when a mad man lined up the girls and killed them in a one room schoolhouse earlier this year.

Who can blame the students for talking? The video, letters, and photos of the Virginia Tech murderer have been replayed and discussed everywhere, as if he’s a celebrity. As if spreading his message has some sort of productive value to the public. Or our kids.

My mind wanders. As usual. The kid who was searched was pointed out to me by my daughter yesterday as we watched my son at his track meet. Had that “I have access to a gun” boy showed up outside the school, with a death mission, pickens would have been easy. Kids and adults from two schools were there. Several hundred of us.

I “woke up” at around my daughter’s age too. Only I did because of Vietnam and the huge pictures in Life magazine that came to the house every month. We didn’t have CNN, video games in which killing animals and people are the point, and kids weren’t being shot to death during English class.

I came of age during the days of “flower power” and the Kent State killings. College kids were putting flowers into guns, not pointing them at each other.

Twice, in the past two weeks, my eldest asked me about what would be left for her, because of global warming.

I’m hoping that she just gets through the day tomorrow.


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Kim Krause Berg’s long background in web design, SEO and usability includes software application functional and user interface testing, accessibility, information architecture and persuasive design. She shared her passion for Usability and SEO through her site and private consulting at Cre8pc for 17 years. Kim founded Cre8asiteforums in 1998. In the fall of 2012 she sold her forums to Internet Marketing Ninjas and retired from private consulting to join their Executive Management team where she continues her work in usability testing, customer experience and conversions design.

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American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

Information Architecture Institute

Usability Professionals Association (UPA)