A mother in Washington opened up about turning in her 17-year-old son to the police three years ago after she found his notebook, which outlined plans to kill her just before attacking his high school.
Nichole Schubert first told her story to the The Wall Street Journal and then later sat down with Good Morning America, recalling one of the most heartbreaking moments of her life. She hopes that sharing her story would encourage parents to pay attention to warning signs and stay in their children’s business — even if they don’t like it.
“Your first instinct is, as a parent, is to protect your child,” Schubert told Good Morning America. “But at that point, I felt like if he is actually going to do these things, he would be safer in jail.”
In 2019, Schubert came across her son’s notebook while cleaning her home and turned him over to authorities within hours, admitting she had previously found what she believed was a homemade pipe bomb in her son’s room.
“It was very descriptive,” Schubert said. “It was just heartbreaking.”
“I didn’t — I didn’t really want to know the details,” she added.
Her son denied the plans were real and argued his writings were only a fantasy or a story. But police still had enough evidence to arrest him. He later pleaded guilty to a felony charge for threatening to bomb or injure property and misdemeanors for harassment.
Following his charges, he underwent mental evaluations while completing community service time and a rehabilitation program. He now has a job, hopes to attend college, and has not had any further problems with the law since his arrest.
The experience still feels devastating for Schubert.
“That’s my child,” she said. “I gave birth to him — it hurts a lot — it still hurts.”
However, she stands by her choice as she believes it saved lives, and she advocated for parents to take responsibility for keeping their children and others safe.
“Stay in their business,” she said. “Even if they don’t like it — they’re not going to like it. But as parents, it’s our job to know what our kids are doing.”
Schubert said her friend’s children attended the same high school as her son, which led to her calling the police.
“It wasn’t just about me and him at that point,” she added. “It was about a whole school — hundreds of people, hundreds of kids, children. Just be aware and watch for signs — kids will normally tell you by their actions when something is wrong.”