REXBURG - A Rexburg woman present during the Columbine High School shootings is assisting her survivor schoolmate, Sam Granillo, in an effort to raise funds for a documentary that will support therapy for witnesses of the CHS disaster or other traumatic events.
More than a decade ago, two high school students from Columbine, Colo., murdered 12 classmates and one teacher, and directly injured 21 other students. Until the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, the Columbine rampage was on record as the deadliest school shooting in the United States history, according to The NewYork Times.
Some survivors of the experience are still suffering from the psychological pain. Sam Granillo, then a student, is one of them.
Granillo has created a film that briefly tells of his experience and the effect the shootings have had on other survivors.
Kickstarter.com is giving Granillo 35 more days to raise $75,000 in pledged donations before Granillo can create a full-length documentary. The documentary is intended to help more than CHS survivors overcome the event, but also Virginia Tech survivors, war survivors and all other people suffering from traumatic experiences. It is intended to provide some therapy for victims, and also later raise funds to support personal therapy for CHS victims.
This predocumentary film is being spread through the media nationally, and can be viewed and donated to at www.kickerstarter.com under the search title "Columbine: Wounded Minds."
"There are certain kids who are still needing the counseling because we still have panic attacks," said Alison Cline, a Rexburg resident and student survivor of the shootings. "It took me quite a while to get over things, and I'm still working through things."
On April 20, 1999, Cline was standing with a class of chatty choir students, she says. Her choir teacher was frustrated, and ironically told the students that they he bet they wouldn't keep quiet even if their lives depended upon it, and has since regretted the statement, says Cline. Cline vividly remembers hearing firecracker-type popping sounds, and then a kid running down the hall yelling that people were shooting.
"We didn't believe him until there was an explosion," said Cline.
Panicking students were then running through the halls as the violence intensified.
Cline and 60 other students hid inside the choir room's office from a little after 11 until the swat team finally found them at 4 p.m. Killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were running through the halls shouting as they found people, so the obscurity of Cline's hiding place was nothing short of a miracle, says Cline.
There was only a staircase between the choir office and the library. The library was location to the deadliest of the massacre.
"We could hear everything," said Cline. "It was pretty intense."
Cline's friend Granillo wasn't fortunate enough to have the security Cline had. Granillo and about 17 other students were in a room with no lock, says Cline.
In the predocumentary, Granillo says he held the door shut with their feet as the two killers pounded to get it open.
Granillo and the other students with him were successful in keeping the door closed; another miracle, says Cline. Some of Cline and Granillo's close friends were victims to the event.
Twelve years have passed, and many of the student survivors have taken careers in psychology, education and law enforcement in efforts to protect innocent people, says Cline. But we still need help, she added.
"I want to see this happen for him (Granillo)," said Cline.
And so does Steven Fry, British actor, film director, comedian and author.
It is an "extraordinary documentary following lives of those affected by Columbine shootings", said Fry on Twitter last week.
Sammy's and Interface Watches are raising funds to support the documentary. For every burger purchased, Sammy's will donate $1 to the project. Interface Watches will host a variety of deals in support.
Additional businesses wishing to assist the project can contact Alison or Jericho Cline at email@example.com.