Dad Writes The Perfect Response To A Student Planning A Mass Killing At His Son's School
Normally when a dad interferes in a high school kid’s life, the result is groans, eye rolls, and embarrassment. But one dad’s response to a student planning a mass casualty event at his son’s school broke that norm and is now going viral for a wonderful reason. On Friday, after police in Edmond, Oklahoma, uncovered a plan for a mass killing at Edmond North High School, father and writer Charles Martin responded with a letter entitled, “To The Teen Who Planned To Kill My Son.”
The contents of the letter are different than what might be expected from a quick glance at its title. In the letter Martin is neither angry nor reprimanding, but instead remarkably compassionate and empathetic.
After writing the letter, Martin posted it to on the website of his small publishing company, Literati Press. The response was positive, to say the least. Within just 12 hours, the site got more than 20,000 hits. Martin’s letter struck a soft spot.
In the letter, Martin even went so far as to thank the 16-year-old boy who was planning the mass killing for sending the texts to his friends that eventually enabled authorities to unearth his plan. The fact that the plan did not actually come to fruition allowed Martin to be that much more compassionate, he admitted. But nonetheless, Martin’s letter is filled with the kind words and personal anecdotes that one might not expect given the circumstances.
He commiserates with the boy about just how tough winter can be, and ponders whether those snow days spent in isolation led him to concocting his mass casualty plan. He then goes on to admit that he has “no idea what you are thinking right now,” but he wants to believe that he texted his friends about his plan because he “wanted to be caught.”
He then goes on to give the boy hope about the future. He admits that high school is “a tough place” and it often made him “angry and desperate too.” But life gets better, Martin says. College is a bright spot, he says, and even though the path forward might be “complicated and hard,” it’s worth persevering and listening to the therapists available to him at the treatment facility in which he’s currently placed.
And for that, Martin thanks the boy. He thanks him for being brave enough to reach out to his friends for help. He thanks him for enabling a crisis to be averted and for allowing him to spend a spring break enjoying his son’s company rather than mourning his death. And then, he wishes the boy the best of luck on “the long journey of getting back to better.”