I don’t fault the parents of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. I’m not sure I would still stand by that statement had my child been at Columbine the day of that deadly macaque. But from my very distant perspective, as a parent, I feel for them.
“Dylan did not do this because of the way he was raised,” said Susan Klebold during a 2004 interview with New York Times columnist David Brooks. “He did it in contradiction to the way he was raised.”
Following the attack, Eric Harris’ parents wrote letters to the families of their son’s victims. To one injured girl they wrote, “We would have given our lives to prevent (the tragic events).”
Like the other victims, they are suffering from the deaths of their sons. They also suffer from the guilt of wondering if there was anything they could have done to prevent it. Parents of troubled teens often think their battle is internal. I can’t imagine very many would assume their child would grow up to do such a heinous act. And that is why I feel for them. In my eyes, my son can do no wrong. But what if he did. I will always love him.
On this, the 10th anniversary of the Columbine attack, we are now wiser. Our schools have stepped-up security measures and threats by students are no longer taken lightly. I pray another attack never happens and puts our dear children at risk. And I pray for peace for the parents of Eric and Dylan. The financial cost to them has rung in at more than $1.5 million. But their emotional cost is, no doubt, priceless.