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Sue Klebold's child was among the shooters in a mass death at Columbine High college 19 year ago. Now, she spends her time advocating for self-destruction prevention and also mental health services. (Stephanie Noritz)
For the past 19 years, Sue Klebold, has tried and tried to make feeling of what happened.
On this particular day in 1999, her son Dylan and also his friend Eric Harris shot and killed 12 students and also one teacher in ~ Columbine High school in Littleton, Colo. They hurt 21 others before taking their own lives.
Today she's thinking about her son, that would it is in in his 30s now and also wondering what would end up being of that "if the hadn't derailed the stays of so many people."
After plenty of years that trying to hide herself from the general public eye, Sue has become an support for mental health and also suicide prevention.
She shared some of her story v priziv.org News.
What is your most vivid memory of that day?
"I actually have actually two vivid memory of the day. One is in the morning as soon as Dylan left the house and said 'Goodbye.' and also it to be still dark. I heard him gain up early and also walk quickly past mine door. He was a little earlier than he typically gets up and I didn't know why. I popped mine head out the door and called his name and all I heard in the darkness was words 'Bye.' and also then he slammed the door. The is a memory that is really vivid and also I will constantly carry that intense feeling."
"The various other memory the I have of the day, mostly, was the day itself. Us were inquiry to leaving our home and also I spent most of that day sitting on the ground outside, because we had actually no location to sit. And I was crying a lot and I just remember questioning the police the were there over and also over again 'Is my child alive? What's occurred to Dylan?' and I just remember this long day of me simply sitting there, wondering what was going on and not quite knowledge what to be happening."
How did you find out what her son had actually done?
"Well, that really came in pieces. Not just throughout the day yet
"I didn't also know as soon as he had actually died, i was hear news reports that many world had been killed …. However I maintained wondering, friend know, if Dylan was alive or dead, and I remember questioning a policeman for the millionth time 'Is my kid dead?' and also finally who turned come me and said, 'Yes the is.'"
What, if any, indication did friend have about what your child was going come do?
"I can't speak that i had any indication that ns knew what he to be going come do. Dylan behaved an extremely much like any kind of other teenager that ns had ever before known. I was a teacher for years, ns taught in a ar college, I was an education I had a master's level in education, ns can't say that there was ever anything that Dylan did that worried me except in his small year he acquired into part trouble for the an initial time in his life. He had a couple incidents all at once, he scratched a locker at school, he and his friends hacked into the computer system at the school, because he was one of the computer technicians in ~ the school, and he and his girlfriend Eric to be arrested for stealing something."
"That taken place in a swarm in his junior year. And also I was really very upset I didn't understand what the meant, the guys were put in a diversion program rather than going come jail — they had actually counselling, they had actually classes, they had to pay money come compensate their victim. So every these points were occurring and I remember questioning the diversion councillor 'This is so out of character because that Dylan what can this mean? could this mean something?' and we talked v Dylan and she said 'Dylan, perform you think you need counselling?' and he stated 'No. Ns don't, however I will prove come you I'm fine and also I'll acquire my life earlier on track.' and also he did — end the following 14 months."
"Even in the days preceding the shootings he checked out a prom, just a few days before the shootings. He came home at 4 in the morning and we talked. That told me, 'Thank girlfriend for sending out me. I had actually the ideal time of mine life.'"
"Three days later, he was participating in a massacre. Us were very, really confused. No one of us might understand he had been there willfully, couldn't believe it due to the fact that it didn't enhance his life."
Dylan had used to and also been welcomed at 4 colleges, and also even selected a dorm room. Sue claimed there to be never any guns in the home.
Why perform you think the did what that did?
"It's an extremely hard come answer the question, because I don't think I can, i don't think everyone can. After ns learned much more about Dylan and his state of psychic after his death, ns think among the big factors in this was the truth that the was, himself, depressed and also suicidal, and also we had found some writings he had actually done at the age of 15 whereby he to be talking around being in agony and also wanting come die and wanting to get a gun to end his life. And I had actually no idea that he felt the way. I think that was emotion disgraced and belittled in some of the society interactions that emerged at the school."
Sue claimed she to trust Dylan was enduring some bullying at school, and that being arrested v his friend Eric solidified their bond.
Do friend think some civilization blame you together Dylan's parent?
"Of course. Yes. And also one of the points that occurred right from the beginning was just this storm of blame ... Our very own governor go on nationwide television and said it to be the parents' fault."
After the shoot in Parkland in Floria, president Trump suggested teachers should be armed. What do you think?
"I don't like that idea. Ns believe, definitely in my state in Colorado, we understand that of deaths by firearms, about three-fourths of those deaths room suicides. What this tells me is the I desire to make it as an overwhelming as feasible for someone to have actually a firearm .... Ns think arming teacher raises an ext risks than it creates in safeguards. Civilization who use weapons like the FBI or police officers have tons and also tons the training and also impulse control. Also with those things in place, they tho harm people that they shouldn't be harming. It's too an excellent a danger to eight a teacher — in my opinion, we room making schools much less safe through arming teachers."
She stated she applauds the movement that students from Parkland, Fla. Have touched off, taking a was standing for stricter total control.
Have you been able to uncover some peace?
"I have. However it's been a an extremely long time. What I have uncovered to be beneficial for me to be my connection with other survivors of self-destruction loss, due to the fact that in my mind, and yes ns cannot indicate at all the Dylan's death was
"We've passed v these entry of just feeling prefer a victim whereby you feel helpless and beaten through life and also then you start to feel like a survivor, favor I still feel horrible but I'm walking to make it, and also I'm walk to try to help other world going v this kind of loss. And also then you come to be an advocate, who who wants to do a readjust and it sort of crystallizes what you want to live for and fight for. And I think that's sort of what has happened to me."
Sue claimed that she have the right to relate come the feel of guilt feeling by various other parents who have lost a son to suicide.
Sue Klebold wrote a book around her experience, A Mother's Reckoning; life in the consequences of Tragedy.
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She'll it is in in Windsor, Ont. On might 1, as a featured guest at the Canadian Mental wellness Association's "Breakfast the Champions" in ~ the St. Clair Centre because that the Arts.