Dad's Letter 'To the Teen Who Planned to Kill My Son' Is a Lesson in Compassion

sad teen boy

When I first heard about how a teen's plans to bomb Edmond High School in Oklahoma had been thwarted, I was relieved it hadn't happened -- and angry at the teen who'd masterminded such a massacre. Then I read a letter, "To The Teen Who Planned To Kill My Son," by Charles Martin, whose 15-year-old son attends Edmond North. 

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Martin, creative director at a small publishing house, didn't tear into the teen (who remains unidentified) who could have killed his son. Instead, he thanks him for being a "bit of a hero" for allowing himself to get caught (the teen had texted his friends his plans, and his friends had alerted the authorities).

If my child attended Edmond High, I doubt my outlook on this kid would have been so rosy. And if I'd written a letter to this kid, I also doubt it would be so compassionate and comforting. But now that I see how this dad has risen to the occasion, it reminds me of the fact that hard as it may be, parents can -- and should -- show compassion and caring for ALL kids ... not just their own.

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School shootings are so horrific, it's easy to forget that there's a scared, confused kid behind them -- a point that this dad tries to remember.

"Maybe you are a bad person, but it seems you are just angry and desperate," he says in his letter. "That is understandable. High school is a tough place. It often made me angry and desperate too."

Hats off to this dad for helping us all remember how tough high school is, how it can drive kids to do senseless things, and how as parents it's not our place to judge. Our job is to show these kids the right path, and give them a sense of hope that even if things seem bad, they can get better.

Below is Martin's letter in full:

What do you think of this letter?

 

Image via Joseph/shutterstock

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