I finally got around to watching “Silence Broken: A Mother’s Reckoning”, the interview Diane Sawyer did with Sue Klebold on 20/20 that aired this past Friday. If you missed it and have a cable subscription you may be able to watch it here. Or if you’re a cord cutter like me it should be available for everyone on Friday. In a word I was not impressed.
While I was impressed that she made no excuses for her coward of a son I still feel like she just doesn’t get it. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that Sue Klebold is solely responsible for not preventing Columbine. Columbine was a perfect storm of failure between the parents and law enforcement. Like the story said they all had pieces to the puzzle so I believe they all share some responsibility. I still believe she missed some obvious signs and did not take some actions that should have been taken. For example if your son asks you to buy him a gun and you suspect that he might be having mental health issues then that should be taken more seriously then I think it was. Not to mention the fact that she decided to stop searching his room in his senior year was another mistake. Columbine was planned a year in advance. You can not tell me that nothing would have been found if the room had not been searched in that time. Also the school notified her of the violent story that her son had written that she chose not to follow up. While that may not have been a sign of the impending tragedy it should have been a sign that her son needed professional help. Sue Klebold also said that she didn’t blame the Harrises who in my book deserve more blame than the Klebolds which leads be to believe that she herself feels no blame. That harkens back to 2004 when she said “I haven’t done anything for which I need forgiveness.”
Another thing that was mentioned that I don’t agree with was the FBI profiler who laid a large amount of blame on violent media such as movies, music and video games. In my opinion it’s not the amount of violence that kids may be exposed to but a generation of parents who aren’t preparing their kids emotionally for the real world.
One thing that I did agree with that was brought up was the stigma that seeking psychiatric help carries with it. I was suicidal as a teen and my parents knew it yet they never considered getting me any professional help that I desperately could have used. They, like a lot of parents, were probably more concerned about what the neighbors thought rather than how I felt. If people felt less stigmatized in seeking professional help for their kids or even themselves it would go a long way in preventing tragedies like Columbine. If Sue Klebold’s book could at least help fight that stigma then maybe she’ll have finally done some good.