I really didn’t want to watch.
This past weekend, Sue Klebold spoke.
She is mother of one of the infamous teen shooters from the 1999 horror at Columbine High School.
Dylan Klebold, then called “Sunshine”, was happy, intelligent, creative, born into a family of privilege.
Shown building Lego, solving puzzles, smiling happily on family vacations, gifted classes at school, abundant friends.
The kid next door. Or even the kid that lived upstairs.
What happened ?
Like many teens, he began to withdraw from family. He showed signs of depression that were mostly dismissed, his parents more focused on the drug-abusing older brother.
He started dressing in black, friends changed, grades dropped, a different child.
Like many parents at the time, I assumed he was a victim of bullies; his attack, a distorted sense of revenge.
I was wrong.
As FBI documents later revealed in his journals, he and Eric Harris were looking to create a scene from hell, pledging to kill hundreds in a single act, the work of sociopaths.
They planted pipe bombs in populated areas, positioned themselves outside with high- powered rifles to take out students as they escaped the building.
The bombs failed. So did their plan.
They proceeded to enter the building, taking 13 innocent lives before their planned suicide.
How does a mother address all this ?
I can’t imagine.
It took Sue Klebold 17 years to come forward in a book to be released soon, proceeds going to mental health agencies.
Why was this so very hard to watch ?
My own son went through a depressive episode as a teen. He was 13 when Columbine happened. We found out years later that he was indeed a victim of bullying, a fact that he worked hard to conceal.
He didn’t know about my family’s history with depressive issues at the time. I made sure he soon did.
Could the Columbine episode have been prevented ?
According to Mrs. Klebold, she is not sure, but she would have sacrificed his privacy in order to save his life.
She would have been all up in his business, his room, his journals.
She thought her love was enough.
A brief clip.
Note: It was reported in the ABC news special, hosted by Diane Sawyer, that as many as 79 school shootings have been thwarted since the Columbine incident, mostly as a result of tips from family and friends.