Back in December, 14-year-old Brandon Clegg attempted to enter Dennis Intermediate School in Richmond, Indiana with a pair of guns. Clegg had stolen the guns from home but his mother had called the police to warn them that Clegg was on his way to the school. The school was on lockdown before Clegg got to the school and he ended up shooting out the glass on one of the doors to enter the school. Police confronted Clegg who exchanged gunfire with them before taking his own life.
According to earlier reports, Clegg took the guns from a locked gun cabinet in his home by smashing the glass. He was then said to have forced his father at gunpoint to drive him to the school. However, a new report reveals that the man taken hostage was the boyfriend of Clegg’s mother at the time. In an interview with Clegg’s mother, she believes that her ex should have never left the house with Clegg.
Clegg’s mother believes that Clegg went to the school in order to kill himself. While it’s not unusual for a mother to want to believe her son was not a potential killer the news reports say otherwise. In the car that he forced his mother’s boyfriend to drive, police found explosives and believed that Clegg intended to take them into the school but couldn’t since police arrived so quickly. In my opinion, that doesn’t sound like someone trying to commit ‘suicide by cop’ but instead like someone who had intended to commit harm. If Clegg wanted to commit suicide, he could have just as easily taken the guns from the display case and used them that way.
Clegg’s mother contends that her son was bullied but she does not condone his actions and she said there were no signs of her son planning any such attack. I’ve already addressed the bullying accusations here, and from what I’ve read so far I have no reason to dispute her claim of there not being any signs. However, I’m sensing too many Columbine similarities for this not to have been a copycat attack.
I’m not saying that bullying is what led to this shooting but I get it, being bullied sucks. I should know as I was bullied for 12 years. You may not realize it not but your school years are just the tiniest blip on the timeline of your life. Once you leave school you’ll wonder why you put up with being bullied for so long. If I could go back and tell my younger self one thing it would be that the world isn’t fair and to stand up for myself. And suicide is never the answer, the only people you hurt by killing yourself are the ones who really care about you. The bullies won’t feel guilty and by taking your own life you’ve let them win. So before reaching for a gun try using your mind instead.