Originally posted by redsoxnationIf the parents were out of touch with reality 5 years ago, why should anyone expect them to be in touch with reality now? Why accept blame, when blaming society is so much fun and so much easier?
I agree. And perhaps they can't allow themselves any blame for the tragedy. This is beyond sad that all the signs were there from what has been reported but they claim never to have noticed.
I don't know whether or not the parents should accept any blame. I'm sure I don't know the particulars of the Klebold's home life, but maybe they really didn't know how messed up their son was, and maybe there was no way they could have known. When I was growing up, I knew some seriously messed-up kids who had great parents. The kids were very good at hiding how messed-up they were from their parents, like it was all part of the plan, like they wanted to be messed-up and they knew that if their parents knew how messed-up they were, they wouldn't get away with it--their parents would slam them into therapy so fast their heads would spin.
There seem to be two ways of thinking when it comes to stuff like this. It's either "blame society" or "blame the parents."
I'm not sure I agree with either of those takes. Like I said, I knew messed-up kids with great parents, and some of the coolest, nicest, most level-headed kids I knew had absolutely horrible, hateful, disasterous parents.
You can't really blame society either, because we all live, more or less, in the same society. If it was society's fault, we'd all be homicidal maniacs.
What about this? Blame the kids. They knew what they were doing. They planned it. They did it. And what about the kids that bullied and tormented them? Should they take any of the blame? Who can say?
Even though indignant television panelists would have us believe otherwise, after a certain age, parents are not the biggest or most effective influence in a young person's life. It's all friends and peers. Teenagers usually hide this crap from their parents at all costs.
Then, all influences aside, I have to quote Chris Rock on the subject of the Columbine shootings: "Everybody wants to know what they were listening to, what movies did they watch? What music was it? Whatever happened to crazy?! Remember crazy? What, you can't be crazy no more? Did we eliminate crazy from the dictionary?"
Originally posted by DrDirtThis is beyond sad that all the signs were there from what has been reported but they claim never to have noticed.
I think that's my biggest beef with the parents is that, at some point, you would expect a reasonable adult to start asking a question here or there. It may not have been terribly effective, but it would've been an effort that could've prevented it, perhaps.
Farley and Belushi are taken away in their prime yet Moore's heart continues to pump bacon grease in and out. God has a brutal sense of humor sometimes.- Barbwire Mike
As a secondary education major (physics, for those who care), I've seen a huge change in the reaction of parents. My father taught high school for 35 years (and has been coaching wrestling for almost 40), and I have two uncles, an aunt, and a sister in the teaching profession, as well.
Fifteen years ago (when *I* was a kid), when a teacher would call parents, the parents would say "What did my kid do?" and the kid would get reasonably punished. Nowadays, when a teacher calls a parent, the first thing that the parent says is "What did you do to my child?" or "What did you not do to my child?". Somewhere along the line, everybody else gets blamed for the problems of kids in school, be it academic problems or discipline problems. I've had meetings with parents of kids who had some severe problems with anger management, and instead of being concerned with getting their kid help, I got a lot of excuses and a whole lot of denial from the parents. I've heard a lot of "boys will be boys" and "he needs to learn to toughen up" (in reference to his son beating the shit out of another boy regularly).
I'm not going to blanket blame the parents, because that's not always the case. It's usually a case of blaming the parents, the school, and most importantly, the students themselves. I think somebody dropped the ball in the Columbine case. I believe the Klebolds when they say that there was a "toxic culture" at the school. I've seen it, and I've seen how it messes up the pudgy kid who is good at physics and math, or the goth kids who don't seem to care about anything, but really long to be accepted by somebody. But this "toxic culture" can be overcome, and, to my knowledge, exists in thousands of schools that don't have shootings in them.
Klebold and Harris went spiraling out of control, and I do believe in just plain crazy. It was a rotten, horrible, tragedy done my two people who I believe were evil. But it's not the movies, and you are not born evil. Could it have been prevented? Absolutely, but with the culture in schools today, and the attitudes of parents, I don't know that anybody would have listened. In the schools I've student taught and observed, it's still hard to get people to listen.
Gravity is a contributing factor in nearly 73 percent of all accidents involving falling objects.
Roy, I think you hit the nail on the head. The "toxic culture" causes this, which is caused by a number of factors (which have been cited on many levels)
The kids just flipped out and lost it. I really thought that this incident was going to change things and those kids would not die in vain.
I know that being teased kinda sucks (I was the dorky chubby kid that Roy talked about). I know the kids would neverlisten, but time has a way of fucking with people and karma is a bitch. I took acne medication, started working out and became a serious student in college. I went to my 5 year reunion a year ago and one kid who teased me gained about 40 lbs of lard, another had flunked out of 3 colleges, and the girl who was probably the meanest of all was putting the moves on me. I wish someone has just sat down with these kids and said "Just keep living...your day will come".
Has anyone seen the movie "Elephant" that was supposed to be kind of a re-enactment of the Columbine incident...it wasn't too bad and Van Sant did a great job of capturing the different groups in h/s
"I just wonder where this leads to. Will it be the Bad News Bears with Chico's Bail Bonds on the back of our uniforms?" --A's OF Billy McMillon regarding the Spider Man bases
Wordlife, I know you hoped things would change but why did you expect them to. As a society, and parents, we seem to find ways to duck responsibility in these situations.
A perfect example is teenage drinking and driving. A child dies after getting drunk and driving. There is wailing, gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands. Everyone commits themselves to change, kids included. Several weeks later it's back to the way it was.
IMO, it's human nature to get all worked up and then be unable to maintain the energy level to chgange things.
Sure they dressed different, looked different, acted different, but nothing would ever lead anyone to suspect that they were planning on wiping out an entire school. I don't think that is something you can predict or even prevent.
In listening to an interview with a parent of one child who was killed, he claimed that Kelbold's parents are totally changing their story. He said when asked about signs and upbringing and such during a closed deposition they gave the complete opposite picture. He wasn't allowed to say what the details were.
Being the same age as Klebold and Harris were, I kinda identify with what they went through. Cause that was me in highschool, I was the strange guy who dressed in black, I listened to similar music, experienced the bullying and politics via the jocks, hated the hip-hop/pop culture of the day, even had my own "gang" of misfits. Much of our actions then were consistent with what the media wanted us to be, the whole us versus them mentality while nothing new, in retrospect I strongly sense a guise to get us to buy certain records and dress in certain clothes. As in, a demographic inside a demographic.
And yeah, as I'm sure alot of you know, it can be hell. But what does it say, when high school, is the be all and end all of your life. For example, I remember in tenth grade, this guy taking a basketball and from five feet away throwing it as hard as he could into my face then he ran away laughing. I walked home, plotting his death. Was I going to? Of course not, would I have snapped if that shit continued...maybe. What brought my blood pressure back down, was the fact while I didn't have much, I did have people (older friends and family) to turn to outside of school. If I left all my eggs in that basket, every one of them would be cracked.
I've read some of the officals reports on the case, and I believe that school was the last resort for them. The only place to turn to feel some sense of belonging. This being the case, It seems ma and pa may have lacked something in bringing up the kids. And I don't know the exact situation inside those households, then again I feel I do, but while dad is spending 6 hours trying to figure out how to finance his 3rd SUV, took 5 minutes out of his day to walk over to the next room and talk to his son who is spending 6 hours playing DOOM. Then maybe we wouldn't be talking about this today.