School Violence

2 Poems, 2 School Shootings, 2 Decades Apart

Photo by kat wilcox on

By Ron Cooper

In 1999, I wrote a poem, “See This Child,” about the heartrending news of Columbine. In 2019, I was still writing poems on school shootings with “Gone Are These,” about the young lives tragically cut short at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California.  

See This Child

See this child

His future was stolen

In a hail of gunfire

He is your son

And he is mine

See this child

Her potential was murdered

On a terrible Tuesday

She is your daughter

And she is mine

For these our children

We must speak out

Their voices are stilled

But ours must never be

So long as madness reigns

In the hearts of some youth

We must remain vigilant

And steadfast, and cry,

“This must never happen again!”

Gone Are These

Gone are these

The golden ones

Once in our midst

These innocent souls

Such promise once

Now truly missed

Gone are these

The golden ones

Graced our lives

And once thrived

Now are deprived

Deprived of a chance

to grow

to play

to love

to work

to discover

to achieve

to serve

Gone are these

Who would say

“Our last moments

“Should not be as these”

And now ask

A simple question

That gives us pause

Shames us

Challenges us


Two poems, two decades apart. In between was the unspeakable carnage of Parkland and Newtown, and far too many others. America, we must make this stop.

© Ron Cooper 2021

One thought on “2 Poems, 2 School Shootings, 2 Decades Apart

  1. Ron- your poems are so powerful and moving. They capture the overwhelming pain and heartbreak, terror and senselessness. You are very gifted. I feel like I have just been punched in the gut- the sign that a very good writer was here.

    Amy Durham E:


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