Columbine Shooting Victim's Mom: 'Our Children Are Paying the Highest Price Possible for Decisions That We've Made as a Country'

Beth Nimmo, the mother of the first victim killed in the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, spoke about her daughter's legacy and the taunting she endured for her faith at a Florida prayer breakfast event on Tuesday.

Nimmo's heartfelt speech focused on the issues of cliques and bullying in American youth culture and how hope can exist in the midst of tragedy.

"Our children are paying the highest price possible for decisions that we've made as a country, as a culture," Nimmo said at the annual Marco Island Prayer Breakfast, according to Marco Island news outlet. "They have been taken capture by the ways of the world, by the culture, by the lifestyles that have just submarined them, as far as how they believe life is supposed to be lived."

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Her daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, was killed by students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold on April 20, 1999, while she was eating lunch with a friend on the lawn of the school, moments after they stormed into the cafeteria scattering gunfire and setting off pipe bombs.

"It is my belief that she went from the face of evil into the presence of the Lord," Nimmo said, while adding that both Harris and Klebold had previously teased Scott about her Christian beliefs.

After shooting her, Harris and Klebold killed 12 classmates, a teacher and wounded 26 others before committing suicide in the school's library.

Nimmo explained that, oftentimes the actions of violent perpetrators are triggered by negative relationships in-and-out of their homes, which is why she makes it a point to speak with children and young adults about the importance of their self-worth.

"If there's anything I can do today to spark a fire in your hearts, to fight for your children, for your community, for your schools…I'm here to say fight that fight, it's winnable," she said to the audience. "The enemy has people assigned to do violence; people who buy into the deception that life isn't important."

She added, "Kids are dying all over for sad and stupid reasons. Why? Because they don't know that they have purpose. They don't know that there's destiny. A lot of them don't know that there's a God who died on the cross for their sins."

Nimmo also recounted how her son, Craig, who was inside Columbine during the shootings, managed to escape unharmed after playing dead while the shooters gunned down students at random in the library.

Now, Scott's story helps Nimmo encourage families enduring difficult moments. She also partakes in nationwide speaking engagements and has written two books, Rachel's Tears and The Journals of Rachel Scott.

Last month, Columbine High School and surrounding schools in Jefferson County, Colo., were on lockdown following a telephone threat. Authorities lifted the lockout several hours later after they discovered the threats were not credible.

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