Thursday, May 30, 2013

High School Hero—The Courage of One

"It's always worth it. I'd much rather report something like this than leave it alone. All I can say is what story would you want to see on the news? One person being arrested or dozens of kids dying because of a disaster that could have been prevented." -Truman Templeton

Truman Templeton(Albany, OR)—For the last few months, Truman Templeton had become increasingly concerned about fellow West Albany student, Grant Acord, who seemed to be talking more and more about constructing bombs, according to an exclusive interview by KATU News. (Photo: Truman Templeton/KATU.com) 

When it was time for a school pep rally, last week, Truman was worried that the plans and diagrams Grant had revealed to his circle of friends, would become reality. He was so worried, in fact, that he skipped going to the assembly.

When he came home from school that day—last Thursday, May 23—Truman's mother noticed that the 17-year-old seemed agitated and nervous. When she asked him about it, he decided to confide in her; explaining about Grant's destructive infatuation, and about the alarming diagrams he'd shown him.

Truman's courageous decision that day could very well have saved the lives of many students, teachers, perhaps even alleged attempted bomber-Grant's own life, as a journal found by police in the troubled student's room listed his suicide before police could stop him, in the eerie "to do" list that detailed his horrific plans.

I think there are times in all of our lives when we are faced with a decision to risk taking action at the price of what others may think; or let someone else do it.

The thing is... Truman wasn't the only student who knew about this, but he was the only one to tell someone.

West Albany High School I remember high school... you spend a lopsided amount of your time during those years, in the pursuit of just "fitting in." To risk incurring the possible anger or ridicule of other students—if there really wasn't a problem—took courage. (Photo: West Albany H.S./KOIN.com)

Truman says it was his "conscience" that finally brought him to the place where he knew he had to speak up.

Now Truman's Facebook Timeline is filled with posts of gratitude from fellow West Albany students and friends.

And Truman is being hailed as a hero.

Truman told KATU that he hopes other students—even if it seems like a socially risky thing to do—will also speak out if something is not right and should be reported.
 
Says Truman, "It's always worth it. I'd much rather report something like this than leave it alone."

"All I can say is what story would you want to see on the news? One person being arrested or dozens of kids dying because of a disaster that could have been prevented," he added.
Well said Truman.

It's something we can all remember the next time we are faced with an opportunity to do something, and we think, "I'm just one person—what can just one do?"

Leslie TempletonThere's another important point to be made here, and that is about Truman's observant mom, Leslie. She must have a close and caring relationship with her son, because she was keenly aware that something was bothering him, and she went ahead and asked him about it. (Photo: Leslie Templeton/Facebook) 

What's more, Truman obviously trusted his mother enough to confide in her, believing that she could help him figure out what to do.

On Leslie's Facebook page, Thursday, she posted the following message:

We have been inundated with sincere love and appreciation and we cannot express how much that means to us. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to show support for Truman, but please do not forget to reach out to your own kids and remind them that they should never be afraid to do the RIGHT thing. That being said, I would like to add that the Acord family is undoubtedly devastated and deserve our support in the days that come. No good can come from vilifying these good people.

Thank you Leslie, for reminding us all to be involved with our kids' lives, and to be praying for Grant Acord and his family—it will be very hard for them in the weeks and months to come… but it could've been so much worse!

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