KUSA — Aaron Stark couldn’t remain quiet about his past anymore. The school shooting in Parkland, Fl. last February prompted him to reveal his secret life as a potential school shooter in hopes he could change others' lives.
More than 8 months later, Stark’s confession has changed his life as much as it has impacted others.
“I’ve received responses from all over the world from people who had similar stories of pain and it’s just been life-changing,” said Stark, a 39-year-old stay-at-home dad in Colorado.
Stark wrote to NEXT with Kyle Clark in February, saying “I was almost a school shooter.” He appeared on the broadcast days later, and the video went viral.
PREVIOUS STORY | 'I was almost a school shooter'
Since then, Stark has appeared on MSNBC, he’s given a Ted Talk and been the subject of a Time magazine story. He’s also started a Facebook group called, “You’re not Alone”. It has more than 2,000 members who post daily about bullying, depression and supporting others in similar situations.
Stark says he’s heard from people around the world, including Pakistan, New Zealand and India.
“If I could show even one kid that there’s a way out of that darkness and that no matter how worthless you feel that you’re really a worthwhile person, then it’s all worth it,” he said.
Stark now widely shares his personal story as a high school student who was in so much pain, he considered becoming a school shooter. He says there are more kids who are currently in that mental place than people think.
“We need to talk to those kids. We need to make sure we show those kids there’s a way out of that,” he said.
He advocates for schools to increase the number of school counselors, giving kids a great opportunity to talk to someone who will listen.
“Every day that we don’t offer these kids someone to talk to is another day that they are wallowing in their pain and possibly reaching that edge of violence,” he said.
“If we really want to stop this, we need to start by listening to the kids who are actually in pain.”
Stark is transforming himself while helping others. Since our first story aired, he’s lost more than 100 pounds.