Rep. Kevin Parker hopes new bill will prevent school shootings
SPOKANE, Wash. — For the first time in 17 years, the mother of Columbine shooter Dylan Klebold, broke her silence exclusively with ABC’S Diane Sawyer on a 20/20 special.
“It’s very hard to live with the fact that someone you loved and raised brutally killed people in such a horrific way,” Sue Klebold said in the interview.
Klebold and his friend Eric Harris carried out the deadly Columbine shooting back in 1999. At the time, it was the deadliest school shooting in history. The two killed 12 classmates and one teacher before turning their guns on themselves.
America watched in horror as the images of frightened children running for their lives from the Colorado high school played out during live TV coverage. Among those running for their lives was Kevin Parker, State Representative and owner of Dutch Bros. He was 25 at the time and volunteering as a youth counselor.
Parker remembers huddling on the floor of Columbine High School’s cafeteria as shots rang out. Now as a member of Washington’s State House, he’s determined to stop the violence.
It’s assumed that when you send your children to school, you’re sending them somewhere safe. But since Columbine, the possibility of a school shooting is a real concern.
Every time we hear the all too familiar news, we ask ourselves how this can be stopped. Parker hopes to stop school violence with House Bill 2823, a bill he said is meaningful and emotional for him.
“Primarily because on April 20, I was in the school having lunch with a student when the shooting began, so there is some level of personal experience that I’ve had,” he said.
The bill would encourage students who might hear a rumor of a planned attack to speak up. They’d be able to make an anonymous report and that information would get passed on to school officials and law enforcement.
“Those rumors are sometimes fact. That’s the whole purpose of this bill because going back to Columbine, we suspected that there’s not a strong communication between school authorities and police,” Parker said.