As “Time Stands Still” co-writer and executive producer Aaron Martin told BuzzFeed News, the episode came at a time when school shootings did exist, but weren’t quite as commonplace as they are today. He specifically mentioned the Columbine shooting as one that influenced the writers. The episode’s intention was to depict the reasons that drive a teen to bring a gun to school, as well as condemn the way someone like Rick could just easily grab the gun from his father’s drawer in a moment of anger and frustration.
“It was important to us [and Brendon Yorke, who wrote the two teleplays] that we present Rick as both a perpetrator, and a victim,” Yorke explained. “Rick was violent, and the victim of violence. When pushed to the edge, Rick decided to get revenge in a terrible way.”
He went on to explain the grand themes of “Time Stands Still,” and how the episode attempted to look into the underlying questions behind a tragedy like this.
“We wanted to explore why. Why do teenagers do such terrible things? And how. How does a teen get his hands on a gun and bring it to school? How does no one see the warning signs? How does no one act on the warning signs? Or choose to turn a blind eye? How does someone as young and intelligent as Rick sink so deeply into his own anger, and hatred, that he decides to kill?”
Seeing as the two-part episode’s shocking conclusion is one of the most memorable moments in “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” it’s probably fair to say that Martin and the rest of the team succeeded in their mission to deliver food for thought.