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Father of Columbine Victim Discusses Sheriff's Department Report on MassacreAired May 16, 2000 - 1:22 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Columbine parents demanded the release of that sheriff's report. Some believe the authorities are to blame for their children's deaths, as you heard, that the authorities didn't act fast enough.
Rachel Scott was one of the first students killed in the Columbine shooting spree. Her father believes Rachel's death was meant to be, an act of God. A year before her death, Rachel wrote in her journal: "This will be my last year, Lord. I've gotten what I can. Thank you."
Rachel's death prompted her father, Darrell Scott, to begin a nationwide speaking tour. He's been speaking in the East Coast today. Darrell Scott joins us now from Washington. That's why he's there.
What do you make of the questions the parents are asking in the wake of this report: Why did Klebold and Harris hate so much? Why didn't somebody notice it before hand, that the authorities let this happen? What do you make of that?
DARRELL SCOTT, FATHER OF COLUMBINE STUDENT: Well, I think there were a lot of mistakes made that day, but some of that's understandable because there -- everything happened so quickly. And some of the questions I have are -- I have a friend who was a SWAT team member at one time, Bob Kernuk (ph), and we both were talking one day about why it took so long for the SWAT team to get into the school, why it took so long for the response to Dave Sanders who died? And maybe his death could have been prevented.
So there's a lot of unanswered questions. There's also a lot of things that don't add up. We were told a number of things during the year following the tragedy that turned out to be false. We were told that we would be given information before the media was. When I asked about why my daughter was left outside the school, the answers I were given didn't add up because they had drug her body three different times to different locations.
So there's a lot of unhappiness among the parents by the way we've been treated and by the lack of information and the fact the media got information before we did.
WATERS: Forgive my asking, but did you get any answers to those questions you were asking you friend? SCOTT: What I -- no, I didn't. I mean, we only had questions. When I asked people from the sheriff's department about why my daughter was left outside, the first answer was that they were not wanting to mess with any evidence. And that didn't hold water because they had already moved her body three times. Then I asked again and they told me that they thought there might have been bombs planted under different bodies. But, again, that didn't make sense because she had been moved already. And it could have been easy to put her in a police car, an ambulance and take her to a hospital or the coroner's office, but they didn't do that.
WATERS: So when all is said and done, with all this hindsight going on now, and because you have said in the past that you believe this Columbine tragedy was a spiritual event, do you not have a different perspective than other parents on all of this?
SCOTT: I probably do somewhat, although I would say that a lot of the parents have expressed similar things to what I've said. And many times I'm misquoted. For example, I'm misquoted in saying that God meant this to be. I believe God knows the end from the beginning. I believe he knows the day that you're going to die and the day I'm going to die, but that doesn't mean that everything is meant to happen or that everything is good that happens. So there's misunderstanding even in some of the things that I say around the country.
WATERS: What would you like to see happen now? Every time there's another incident -- and this week it's the report by the sheriff's office -- you and other parents from Columbine and, indeed, the nation, has to relive this all again. What would you like to see happen so that this finally can come to an end, or don't you expect it to come to an end?
SCOTT: Well, I'm not involved in any lawsuits with anyone, but I certainly don't blame parents or a wife or daughters for getting involved in lawsuits. I think there's certainly plenty of reason why people are filing lawsuits. But it gives me the freedom to basically express what's on my heart and mind. I think because of the lawsuits, we're going to hear a lot more of Columbine in the future, and maybe we should. I hope that this was a wakeup call to the whole country.
And my personal message has been a little different from the rest of the country's. With all the focus on gun control and all the focus on turning our schools into prisons, I believe we need to focus on influences that influence our young people, and the spiritual aspect of things which we tend to ignore.
WATERS: Darrell Scott, thanks so much for spending some of your time with us today. Appreciate it very much.
SCOTT: You're welcome.
WATERS: You can examine that sheriff's department report on the Columbine massacre by clicking onto our Web site, the address cnn.com.
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