The Ripple Effect: Shootings in Sacred Places

LISTEN: Interview with Kristina Scala

By Katherine Leaffer ‘22

A memorial for all those people who lost their lives that day.

People especially students, are scared of going to places that are supposed be a “sacred” place. These places are supposed to feel safe but yet, they feel insecure. 35 people. More than 35 people who have been killed due to school shootings just this year. In 2015, 335 people were killed or injured due to mass shootings. In 2016, 382 people were killed or injured by mass shootings.

Recently, 11 people were left dead, at the Tree of Life Synagogue. People who were known to have kind spirits, are gone. There are shootings in places that are known to be safe and sanctuaries for everyone.


In this century Jews have been killed by assailants in synagogues, schools, and community centres in the “free” world. In January alone, 48 bomb threats were called in to Jewish community centers across the country.

David and Cecil Rosenthal, Joyce Fienberg, Melvin Wax, Daniel Stein, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, David Rosenthal, Bernice and Sylvan Simon, and Daniel Stein were the kind soles that received this tragedy.

“The first reaction was difficult to understand that something like a shooting like this can happen in your backyard. You always see it somewhere else but, when it happens where you live, where you pray, it gets kind of personal,” Paul Daniels said.

Paul Daniels attended the funeral of many people who faced this. There were brothers, a teacher, an accountant, a dentist, a wife and husband.

Paul Daniels said, “They were harmless. They loved everybody. They would never hurt anybody, yet they were the victims.”

Jews are often unfairly blamed for societal problems; economic problems  and outbreaks of disease through scapegoating.


“The people that I knew of were murdered were just really nice people. Kind people,” Paul Daniels said.

It took 80 seconds to end Claire Davis’ life. Girls run in the snow with their socks on after seeing there classmate get shot with a bullet. A day were they are supposed to feel peace at yoga class. After seeing there peer taken out of the class room by the bomb squad because they saw their friend get shot in the face. As Claire’s body collapses onto her, drenching her from head to toe with blood.


Kristina Scala is the principle of Aspen Academy. She remembers December 14, 2013 like it was yesterday.

“I ran to my car and Debbie Cordero was on the corner of the street by the school and she just, you know when people go into shock, they don’t know what to do sometimes… she was going to run to Arapahoe,” said Kristina Scala.

Scala recalls what happened when she arrived at the scene.

“While we were in the lines, a lot of police were talking. They started talking about that there was a bomb inside of the yoga room. And they said that there was a bomb on the stairs to the yoga room. They thought that the gunman was wearing an explosive device,” Scala said.

She knew that her daughter was in grave danger. Arapahoe soon was cleared. By the end of the day, she saw her daughter running in the snow.

“That is how I knew that she was ok,” Kristina Scala said.

The mother of Sage Scala, Sage was amongst the last people to be let outside of school. A teenager at the time who saw her classmate get shot. When Scala was told to go home, she watched the TV as her daughter ran through the snow. She waited, waited, and waited for her daughter to open the door.

Leave a Reply