When Dave Cullen made the rounds on NPR to talk about his book Columbine, I listened closely. The Teen will be heading to UDHS this fall, and school hasn’t changed much since I was a wee lass. There are still the jocks, nerds, pretty-pretty princesses, geeks, and the rest of the folks who make up the pot called high school.
In Columbine, Cullen has meticulously crafted a story about the two boys who destroyed a small town on April 20, 1999. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are not the loners originally thought to be. They were popular, well liked kids navigating their way through teen angst who decided to take revenge into their own hands.
Peeking into their minds via journal entries and friends recounting, how could a parent not see this coming? I can tell when the Teen is in Katie Kaboom mode by how she carries herself and the way her eyes roll at her brother. I know I’ll never know her full mental state, but I dig in that arse enough for her to know that just like the good we celebrate, the bad will be acknowledged also.
As a parent, I’d like to think I really know what goes on in the Teen’s head, but Cullen has shown that even with the best intentions, parents are sometimes the last to know.
My only complaint with the book is the in depth detail of the killings in the school. The older I get, the more I shy away from violence. It was disturbing to see how cruel these boys were.
Parents, hug your children. Talk to your children. Know who they know.
Cullen’s book is an excellent opportunity to delve into the lives of teens.