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Glass Houses

As a teacher, I have had my share of difficult students. I have always blamed the parents of these kids for their misbehavior. I thought that they must not be caring for their children as they should or failed to teach them how to behave.

When the young boys went on a killing spree at Columbine High School in Texas and the parents of these boys appeared to be clueless as to what was going on with their sons, I was disgusted. How could these parents not know what was going on behind their kids’ closed room doors? Surely there were signs. My son, who is almost seventeen years old, was always the good kid. Teachers loved him, parents always raved about how polite and pleasant he was to be around, and he always had lots of friends and was involved in sports and was a member of leadership. So when I got the call last October from his vice-principal that he had my “under the influence” child in his office and that the paramedics were on their way, I was shocked.

That morning, I was supermom—I made everyone waffles and we all sat at the table and chatted before he left for school. I was feeling pretty good about myself. Here I was, three weeks from delivering my third son, juggling my fifteen-month-old, and I still managed to get a hot breakfast on the table. I became a stay-at-home mom to take care of my kids. How could this happen? I mean, my husband is a teacher and we are super involved in our children’s lives. My oldest has always been involved in school activities so that he wouldn’t have time to get in trouble.

While the whole ordeal caused me such pain, it really opened my eyes. You can do all you can to make sure you are raising your children with good values and such—but in the end, all you can do is hope. Hope that what you are teaching them will stay with them when temptation calls. I also now know how parents can say they had no clue that there was a problem with their children. Sometimes there aren’t any “signs” and you cannot underestimate a teenager’s will to hide things from you. Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Words I now live by.

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