Columbine Teacher's Guide

Discussion Questions: Personal & Social Impact

Personal Impact

  1. How did the book change your perceptions of Columbine? Summarize how you saw it before and after reading.

  2. What impact did this book have on you personally? Have you changed your views on peers with depression? Or others? Are you behaving differently?

  3. This is dark material: was it difficult to read? What choices by the author made that easier or harder? Which passages were most difficult and most memorable?

  4. Were you surprised by the community reaction in the aftermath? How do you think your community would react to something similar?

  5. What if you were able to meet the killers' parents: What would you want to ask or tell them?

  6. What if you could meet another character in the book: Who would you want to meet and what would you say to them?

Social Impact

  1. There have been many other school attacks, with more killed at Virginia Tech. Why are all shootings referred to as “Columbine-style” or “another Columbine”? What made Columbine the iconic attack?

  2. How did Columbine impact life in your own school?

  3. Do you think this book glorifies Eric and Dylan? Will it encourage copycats?

  4. What is Zero Tolerance? How is it employed in different schools? Is it effective? Describe some situations where schools have employed it ineffectively and made things worse.

  5. Is it important that books like Columbine be written? Who should read it?

  6. How did law enforcement change because of Columbine? Address both prevention and response to attacks.