Columbine. What comes to mind when I say that word? For me, I remember the aftershocks of terror that enveloped a nation. I remember the difference in school afterwards. I remember having evacuation drills for shootings and bomb threats. I remember school doors being locked so that no one could get in or out. I remember that it was completely different to come to school on April 21st, 1999. I remember having metal detectors at our small town school afterwards. I remember life before and after April 20th, 1999. And, boy was there a difference.
These days my children, 5 and 8, practice lock down drills. When I was in elementary school there were tornado and fire drills, but lock downs were unheard of. Post-Columbine and the subsequent school shootings, lock down drills are par for the course and completely normal for my children. They see nothing out of the ordinary about practicing what they would do in the even of a school shooting.
Sue Klebold’s son, Dylan, was one of the shooters at Columbine High School on April 20th, 1999. Him and his friend, Eric, murdered many of their classmates and one teacher and injured many more. This book is her testament; her astonishment at what her son had done, her confusion over how her son could do it- it all bleeds through on every page of this book. Every page made my heart break just a little more for this family, for this mother.
So many people blame Dylan’s family for not seeing or knowing that there was something wrong that could turn into something so devastating for this community. I admit, that at one time I though that way as well. No more. There is no way, taking into consideration Dylan’s actions, that Sue Klebold would have known that her son was planning on killing his classmates. He was visiting colleges, he was going to family dinners; he was behaving as a normal teenage boy. As a mother, I would not have known so how can I fault this family for not knowing.
I think the most profound thing to come from this book is that there is no real answer as to why. So many factors can make up the answer that it is hard to decipher what exactly made this young man snap. I hope that everyone who reads this does so with an open mind, takes in the heartbreak of a mother who not only lost her son, but lost him in a murder suicide that opened the world into her life and learns from her.