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For Columbine, ‘normal’ still elusive

They've moved on and every other day at Columbine High School is probably normal.  But not April 20. Not yet.

Classes were cancelled today. The sinister figures of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are still casting long shadows. 

It was the nation's deadliest school day.

Frank DeAngelis was principal five years ago.

“I'll take what happened Tuesday to my grave,” he said then.

He’s still principal today.

“Are we back to normal?  I don't think Columbine High School will ever be back to normal,” he says. “Kids learn to cope … we're stronger.”

But they are still healing.

Sean Graves is 20 now.  He was a freshman then. Shot five times and paralyzed, he was not supposed to walk again.

In May of 2002, the day he graduated, Sean proved the doctors wrong when he received his diploma and has found peace with that day.

“For some people, it's hard to understand, but for me the easiest way I can explain it was just pure evil,” he says. “They weren't themselves.”

Does he wish all of this would go away?

“You can't go back in time ... so lets look at what we can do … to help people in the future, to help schools, children not have to go through anything close to this.”

What was learned from Columbine?

From 11:19 am, forty-nine minutes of school yard terror taught much.

From the simple (police now have blueprints of schools) to the complex (recognizing and acting on the early warning signs of troubled students), floodgates of change opened after April 20.

But school safety consultant Kenneth Trump sees complacency returning.

“There are still glaring gaps in school security and emergency preparedness,” he says. “And the progress that was made in the years following Columbine have stalled and slipped backwards.”

In fact, although it’s been in ones and twos, Trump says 43 students have died in America this year in school related violence — the worst number since the tragedy here at Columbine.