This past summer I was with the USA Software Team as a Behavioral Threat Assessment  vendor at the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP) meeting in Anaheim, CA.  I had heard Sue Klebold speak at a Ted Talk so, when I saw she was a keynote speaker, I was ecstatic.


This beautiful woman had the courage to present herself and her story about her son Dillon. Along with Eric Harris, he shot and killed 12 students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. Sue has subsequently tried to make sense of what happened. As a result, she has devoted her life to suicide prevention and mental health.

Her audience was 1,000 threat assessment and law enforcement professionals.  I felt privileged to listen to this woman because I knew the words would be raw and authentic. The message that stuck with me was this:


“I should have listened more.” Looking back, Sue said she believes Dillon was being bullied at school. He and his friend Eric had been arrested for tampering with the lockers and this brought the two of them together as a team. He became depressed and suicidal. However, he was able to cover this to his own family while he planned with his friend.


I have to admit, listening to this mother speak about her son and what she has gone through, certainly gave me a different perspective. Moreover, it was very emotional.  She got a tearful standing ovation from me and the rest of the 999 people in the room.

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