It is no secret that school shootings seem to becoming more and more frequent. I think they are the most unnecessary tragedies in our nation. Thankfully this threat had been stopped before the headlines read very differently. The father of an Edmond H.S. student wrote a letter to the would be attacker. You may have already read the headlines and or the letter itself.
Our culture is incredibly quick to judge and find something to blame. Columbine sparked the debate of violence in video games and the effects on young players. Sandy Hook recently has been in the news wanting to sue the shooter’s mother’s estate for negligence (although she was killed that day). As much as we delve into the why these things happen, and what triggers people to take these actions I believe that there many of our highly emotional experiences are difficult to relate unless someone has been in the same or very similar situation. Often those who are going through trying times are resentful to those who think they understand.
What Mr. Martin did sets a great example. He recognizes the would be attacker as a person, not as a monster or someone who is out of control. He also doesn’t pretend to know and understand this boy or what he’s going through. He does reach out to thank him for sparing his family and community a devastating loss. He is also thankful that the boy is also unharmed and now has a 2nd chance. He encourages the boy to listen to those who are trying to help him as he faces these charges and goes through therapy. Can you imagine the profound effect that would have for a troubled young man who faces drastic and grim changes in his life to see that someone he could have hurt deeply is not angry with him? Instead of harassing him, degrading him, and threatening him which we see as a more frequent response; he told this boy everything will be ok.
Will this letter inspire this boy and help him turn around? We don’t know. I sure hope so, but if it doesn’t maybe it can help other people to keep from causing harm. Whether it be another kid wanting to bring down his school or a community member that wants to take punishment for wrongful acts into their own hands by harming the person responsible, this could make them rethink their decision. Even better is that this letter is receiving so much attention. This is something positive and good in what is typically the opposite. I hope there are more people out there like this that are willing to make the effort.