||In the aftermath of the Columbine High School tragedy, a story came out about Cassie Bernall, a young woman who allegedly professed her belief in God in the moments before she was shot dead. Hailed a modern-day martyr by Christian groups and the media, detectives revealed months later that she may never have had such an exchange with her killer. Bernall's parents responded to the news with a statement:
"Our intent was to share Cassie's story in an effort to encourage parents and teenagers. If any of our actions have hurt or offended anyone, we sincerely apologize."
In She Said Yes, a moving memoir written by Cassie's mother, Misty Bernall, we meet the real Cassie, a typical adolescent who struggles with peer pressure and her relationship with her parents. Once headed down the common teenage path of self-loathing and depression, Cassie turned her life around through her faith and the support of a group of people who helped her find peace and purpose--her youth group at church. Though Cassie was far from the perfect child, She Said Yes tells the story of how Cassie's faith gave her the strength to overcome the obstacles she faced in her young life. Regardless of what happened at Columbine, She Said Yes is a moving tribute to an extraordinary young woman and a lesson for both parents and teenagers alike.
Voracious_Reader (USA: VA) (2008/04/14):
Cassie's mother's expresses that her daughter's death matters more or at least as much as what lead to her answer of "Yes" at the hands of the Columbine shooters, than that she simply said "Yes."
She makes the case that without faith and parents that happened to find out that their child was in trouble, Cassie could have had a very different, but equally infamous life. The story is of what was--as well as what could have been--for a deeply troubled, but incredibly determined teen.
It is the power of a mother's love that hopes all things, that brings us Cassie's story. Her mother asks "why my daughter?" "My death is not my own, but yours, and its significance depends on what you do with it" she quotes from a Hebrew prayer service for fallen soldiers. What significance does her daughter's death have?
Whether or not the exchange between the gunman and Cassie actually took place, which is apparently debatable, doesn't really matter. We want that exchange to have happened. She's a heroine. For evil to have looked into the face of good, and for good, even in the face of death, to have triumphed is uplifting. Faith does not come easily for Cassie, nor most of us. Yet, in the end, when it was really all that mattered, it did come. She was not alone, and she did not doubt. So, it isn't the truth of the exchange that matters. The significance is the desire within us to answer "Yes."
Hope7 (USA: TX) (2010/06/28):
I give this book a 10 and Im stingy. I read it in just a few hours and it was one of those books you just cant put down once youve started reading. The Columbine tragedy has been dissected and evaluated over and over again and each time I read about it I am more convinced that there are dark powers working to destroy families and seem to focus on the youth of our society.
Cassies story was the first story of two I have read about the Columbine murders that I can foresee the vast majority of youth relating to on muliple levels. Her home conflicts and her getting into the wrong crowd and finding that this crowd was recruiting her into their dark world and how they literally would not let her go and planned out such vicious attacks on her parents, her teachers, and basically get the picture they hate all authority figures and you question their parents ability to condon such behaviour.
I think Cassies parents did the right thing in removing her from that location and that school, personally public schools are not the place for any children, because they are conducive to the bad elments in society and seem to be a place where dark powers of this world thrive and do not have the best interest of each student in mind. Her story of how well she did at a private Christian school just before transfering back to a public school, tragically one that grew a petre dish of Anti-Christian students, Columbine public school is just another reason for us to listen and not just hear but to take action and consider the seriousness and potential traumas to our children by placing them in public schools. How sad to think that if they had kept her in the private school this would not have happened. A lesson on many levels for all of us. Lessons on parenting, lessons on picking the right environment for our kids to learn in, lessons for teens considering getting into such lifestyles, and lastly lessons for the masses in regards to how much God does make positive differences in our lives, our families lives and our communities. God bless this family with peace that Cassie is in a better place and we all shout YES!