A Conversation With a Columbine Survivor
Marjorie Lindholm on Life After Columbine and Advice in the Wake of School Shootings
Marjorie Lindholm is a survivor of the 1999 school shootings at Columbine
High School in Littleton, Colo. Lindholm, who wrote a book titled A
Columbine Survivor's Story, spoke with WebMD about her experiences and
shares her advice for school shooting survivors and their loved ones.
How are you doing? It's been years now since Columbine, but it was such a huge event. I imagine you never really get over it, or do you?
I haven't. I think some people may be able to. I think with Columbine,
people don't really realize, it's kind of where you were at the school. If
somebody was at the far end of it and ran out of the school right away, I don't
think they were as traumatized as someone who was stuck in the library or the
science room or saw someone shot. So I think there were lots of different
levels of trauma that occurred with Columbine.
And you were in one of the rooms just down from the library, is that right?
Right. I was trapped in the room with the teacher who was killed. We were
giving him first aid for the entire time, like four or five hours, until we
were able to get out with the SWAT team.
When another school shooting happens, how do you deal with days like that?
Not really well, actually. I dropped out of high school, and it took a lot
of years to get courage to go to college, and I still can't do it. I was trying
to do [a] biology major, but you have to go to the classroom, and last semester
I quit going again because there's been so many shootings on the news, and
every time you read the news and something like that happens, you kind of
relive what you lived through. So I switched to an online degree, so that I
don't have to walk into a classroom anymore for the remainder of my
How's that working out?
[It's going] well, so far, other than I don't really like the subject matter
anymore because it's sociology instead of biology. But you've kind of got to go
with the flow and do what you can. But it's just really hard because my life
was school right now and every time I hear about this, it brings up all of my
issues. And then in another sense, you see all the victims on TV -- or even the
kids who kind of witness things on TV or on the news -- and you know what
they're going to go through because it's what I went through for the past nine
years ... and I feel so bad for them and there's nothing anyone can do.