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Key Topics In-Depth
Columbine Intro Video
Choosing Your Topic
Analytic vs Creative
Further Reading
Other School Shootings

columbine student guide

I gathered a slew of resources  to jump-start your Columbine project. Many links take you to my related sites. FYI, I'm now covering Parkland/#NeverAgain for Vanity Fair.


The Columbine Guide A massive research site with ten years of the evidence I compiled to write the Columbine book. It's organized to help you find what you need easily, including:

  • Photos of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

  • Scanned pages from their journals.

  • Links to Eric and Dylan's videos.

  • Diagrams of the attack, with satellite photos and my explanations of what is significant where.

  • Crime scene photos.

  • The bombs and guns--photos and descriptions.

  • The Harris and Klebold parents.

  • Teen depression.

  • Resources for victims.

  • PTSD.

Eric Harris drawings/journal Columbine Napalm

Choosing Your Topic

Extensive topics list Organized by categories. Great for papers, group projects or class presentations. We also included this list in the Instructor Guide, which is where you'll find it, but we designed it specifically for you. (It came based on your requests. Thanks for that.)

Analytic or Creative Approach

Quotes from me 

I am deep into my next book, so I'm sorry, but I can't do interviews. But you can quote me from the many interviews I've done. Columbine print interviewsTV.

Other School Shootings

I have written extensively about the ongoing problem of school shootings for New York Times, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, etc. Read those.

In 2016, I wrote a new epilogue for the new expanded edition of Columbine, focused on why these "spectacle murders" continue, and how we can stop them. Read an excerpt. 

Columbine epilogue excerpt Spectacle Murders
Columbine book Dylan Klebold Eric Harris Sue Klebold

Key Topics In-Depth

Teen Depression Teen depression is the great unlearned lesson of Columbine. (Quote me on that.) Depression is much different from ordinary sadness, and can make for an excellent paper, or presentation involving your whole class.

Six percent of your classmates suffer badly enough to be classified as clinically depressed. Most go undiagnosed, despite easy triage. If you make a class presentation, there will be undiagnosed people in your room that you can affect. The Columbine Guide page on Teen Depression offers:

  • More than ten subtopics to choose from.

  • Over twenty detailed questions to narrow your thesis and provide ideas on points to cover.

  • Key passages from Columbine on depression, listed by page number to simplify your hunt.

  • Three essential sources to jump-start further research.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one of the most fascinating subjects in the book.  Dr. Frank Ochberg was part of the team who identified it, just a few decades ago. He played a major role in the recovery process at Columbine, and was a major source for this book. The PTSD page in the Columbine Guide offers:

  • Topics to choose.

  • Detailed questions to narrow your thesis and provide ideas on points to cover.

  • Key Columbine passages on PTSD, with page numbers.

  • Further sources on PTSD.

Survivors / Overcoming Adversity Half of Columbine recounts the stories of the survivors. Some of them made amazing and heroic recoveries. Pick one of survivors and write a paper on how he or she overcame what seemed impossible. Or didn't. Or contrast two victims who reacted differently, and got different results. The Teacher's Guide Overcoming Adversity unit offers a dozen detailed questions, addressing the topic from different angles. Any one of them could form the basis of a paper, or combine them.

Further reading

  • Online bibliography It includes approximately 250 entries, organized by subject. For twice as many entries, see the back of the book. (From the 500 in the book, we tried to make a manageable number online, so we picked the best.)

  • My articles I have written dozens of pieces on Columbine and school shootings, for publications from New York Times to Vanity Fair, Newsweek and the Guardian.


Bobby Sneakers Dave Cullen corgi Columbine author

Author Dave Cullen, with his sometimes writing companion, Bobby Sneakers.

Gay soldiers book, gays in the military, Don't Ask Don't Tell

See my Columbine page for more on the book, the tragedy, spectacle murders and school shootings. Preview my upcoming gay soldiers book.

Quotes From Me


Dave Cullen Anderson Cooper--Columbine, school shooting--AC360

Dave has been a frequent analyst on Today, Anderson Cooper 360, Nightline, Morning Edition, PBS Newshour, Rachel Maddow, CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News, Talk of the Nation, All in With Chris Hayes, Hannity, Katie, etc.


Parkland appearances

July 2014: Anderson Cooper 360: How the media should cover murderers. 

May 2014: Anderson Cooper 360: Were Red Flags Missed?

Dec 2013: Anderson Cooper 360: Similarities to the Columbine shooting

Dec 2012: CBS This Morning: Columbine author on Newtown massacre.

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