Returning Student Reflects on the Changes Wrought by Massacre

Jami Roubidoux is entering her final year at Columbine High School. She was outside of the school at lunch when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold opened fire on her classmates. She lost two friends, Rachel Scott and Cassie Bernhall, on April 20.

Fox News: Do you feel safe going back to Columbine High School?

Jami Roubidoux: Yes, because it's one of those things where you don't expect lightning to strike twice in the same place. It's not that I don't feel safe, I just feel weird about going back to a place where my friends died.

Fox News: Are there places at the school that you're particularly worried about seeing?

Jami Roubidoux: Yes — the library. And the place where Rachel was killed was a place where I used to eat lunch all the time. We used to sit in this little walkway where the doors go into the school. If it was a nice day we'd sit outside there. So I'm sure me and my friends are a little concerned about walking past there every day.

Fox News: Have you been back to the school yet?

Jami Roubidoux: I went there yesterday for the first time since April 20 and it's changed a lot. It's not really obvious change; you can't quite put your finger on it.

Fox News: We heard there are new floors — do you like them?

Jami Roubidoux: It's tile instead of carpet. I don't know if I like them. The changes kind of remind me more and more that something happened.

Fox News: How do you feel about having to wear an ID at all times?

Jami Roubidoux: It's not really a comfort at all. It's weird because we've never had to do that before. It's different. I mean, my dad has to wear a badge to go into work for security reasons. But, it just seems odd that you'd have to do that for school too.

Fox News: They're also talking about enforcing dress codes at the school. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Jami Roubidoux: They definitely shouldn't allow trench coats because the people who were there that day and did see the killers — that may be a little uncomfortable for them.

I've always supported the idea of uniforms because then it's not a big fashion show when you go to school. You're not judged on brand names because you all look the same. And it's a lot harder to pick on people when you all look the same. I've always been picked on, maybe that wouldn't have happened if the school had had dress codes or even uniforms.

Fox News: Do you think dress codes could help prevent violence?

Jami Roubidoux: I think it could. If you think about it, Dylan and Eric may still have been teased a little bit only because they were different. But you'd have to get to know a person in order to judge them. You couldn't really get to know them by their looks. If uniforms and dress codes were enforced, maybe students wouldn't get picked on as much.

Fox News: What do you think about metal detectors?

Jami Roubidoux: I think that idea is pointless. If we're wearing ID's and beefing up on security, I don't think we need metal detectors. This was a freak incident and there's not a real big chance of it happening again. I think it would feel really strange to have metal detectors.

Fox News: Does the wall in front of the library entrance help block out that memory at all?

Jami Roubidoux: I don't know — you can still go outside and see it from there and all the blinds are closed. The blinds were always open before. You still know it's there. They didn't do anything to move it. The whole library thing makes me really uncomfortable. I've compared this thing to a Holocaust survivor going back to Auschwitz. I know it's not the same scale, but even though there's no trace of what happened at the school, you know that that's where it happened.

Fox News: What do you think should be done with it?

Jami Roubidoux: They can't tear it out because it's still a big part of the building, but I think they should ask the students what they want done with it. I think there should be a memorial there or something.

Fox News: I heard no one so far has applied to transfer away from Columbine, does that surprise you?

Jami Roubidoux: Yes, only because I expected a lot of the kids who saw the stuff to go away. I was in a class with a girl who had been in the library during the shooting. We were picking up our textbooks and I dropped my yearbook on the floor and it made a big pop noise. This girl jumped and put her head down on her desk, expecting gunfire and explosions any minute. That was in a completely different school where you had to have ID, all of the exits were blocked. There was security all over the place. It was that safe and she still jumped. Seeing that I'm surprised that a lot of people didn't decide to leave Columbine.

Fox News: Did you ever think about transferring?

Jami Roubidoux: I don't really want to go back, but to me it's more important that I graduate from here. I heard Dylan and Eric were hoping to kill 500 people and they didn't succeed. And they wanted to blow up the school — well it's still there. And we're still here. And I'll be proud to graduate.

Fox News: Did the summer help to put some distance from the incident?

Jami Roubidoux: I still think about it every day. I may not say anything, but there's always at least a passing thought. I think about the people who died a lot. Now I don't cry every time, but I'll probably think about it every day for the rest of my life.

Fox News: Are there times at school when you think you might especially miss your friends?

Jami Roubidoux: I used to have first hour with Rachel Scott all the time. She used to come downstairs and finish up her homework. We used to talk all the time, so I'll think about her a lot then. And I'll probably think about her a lot at lunchtime because Rachel was just eating her lunch, minding her own business when they shot her. Getting shot is the last thing you think would happen.