Reviewing A School Tragedy

While students at Columbine High are perusing an unusual school yearbook this year, education officials are considering a list of changes to improve school security following the deadly massacre last month.

Although the pictures of student gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold could have been edited out of the annual publication, the school's yearbook club decided to go ahead with the original version, reports Correspondent Chris Schauble of CBS News station KCNC-TV in Denver.

"We were just one big happy family school, and it's sad what happened, and it's terrible, but you shouldn't just X them out of the yearbook," says student Jennifer Davis. "I mean, they're humans."

The yearbook also includes a special insert featuring the pictures of the 13 victims shot by seniors Harris and Klebold.

Meanwhile, the Jefferson County School Board is considering a list of changes to improve school security following the April 20 tragedy.

The board plans to discuss Thursday the creation of a task force to improve school security. Board members also are considering changes to the Student Conduct Code to make it easier to question or discipline problem students.

"After what happened at Columbine, the community needs to look at what kind of safety we have in our school," board President Jon DeStefano said.

The security task force would include teachers, students, law enforcement officers, and residents. The group also would encourage "a cultural change that will cause people to be more tolerant of each other," according to a report.

Schools Superintendent Jane Hammond told state legislators last week the district needs an estimated $4.3 million to pay for increased security, including a card-swipe system to replace standard door locks.

She said the teen gunmen had obtained keys to the schools. Authorities are investigating whether the two seniors planted some of the nearly 60 bombs found in and around the school after the shooting.

Revisions to the Student Conduct Code would alter the procedures for suspending, expelling, interrogating, searching and questioning students.

The proposed changes would allow the expulsion of students who have been charged with a violent crime and exhibited "behavior that is detrimental to the safety, welfare and morale of other students."

The father of a Columbine student complained to sheriff's deputies in 1998 about Harris' Internet postings, including death threats and the use of pipe bombs. A deputy stationed at the school had been given a copy of the report and had told one of the school's deans about it, officials have said.

The proposed changes also would allow students who have committed a violent crime to be kicked out of school if they "disrupt the learning environment, provide a negative example for other students or create a dangerous and/or unsafe environment."

Parents also would no longer be required to be present at a school interrgation of their child.

The school board has one month to review the changes before voting on them.

"These changes are all appropriate," said board member Dave DiGiacomo. "The changes in many cases clarify what teachers can and can't do to enforce discipline. This policy will give teachers the flexibility to ensure a safe learning environment."