School shootings have been on the rise over the past decade and it seems that as we reel from the last major shooting, the next one is looming. Why do these atrocities happen? Bullying, guns, violent culture, toxic masculinity, mental health, copycat, notoriety... We have all become accustomed to the monday morning quarterbacking of mass murder. Could we be missing the complexity of what school shootings feel like?
They feel like rejection.
It feels like no one loves you, and if you feel rejected then you return that feeling. Labeled a problem child by the age of 13. Clayton’s testimony goes into the deep complexity of his mind the day he decided to release himself from misery by ending his life. He was both a victim and a perpetrator. This story is a heartbreaking learning opportunity for all parents, educators, and students.
Our children grow up in an era of evacuation drills, arming educators, securing points of entry, social media, and saying something if you see something. With immense openness and honesty, Clayton provides crucial depth to the conversation as we work to stop the next shooter.
At 42, he still lives with the pain of what could have happened.
...and a profound gratitude that's he's still around to share the story.