Mom Prepares Son for School Shooting in At-Home Drill to Keep Him Safe in Case of Danger
When a mother was getting her son ready for kindergarten, she bought him the usual school supplies and a bulletproof backpack. She also decided to take him through an active shooter drill at home, hoping to prepare him for what he might face in the classroom.
Sending their little ones to school for the first time is an extraordinary experience many parents eagerly await. In many ways, schools serve as a child's second home, where they not only learn what's in the books but also the art of social interaction and profound, life-altering lessons.
Sadly, nothing has been the same after the May 24 incident in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two teachers reportedly lost their lives. While schools in the U.S. will resume with a significant focus on security, the new school year has made many families anxious.
Five-year-old Weston with his Spiderman backpack. | Source: Tiktok.com/@thewaltonfamily1
A WORRIED PARENT
One such mother is Cassie Walton, who has two kids and lives in McAlester, Oklahoma. While preparing her five-year-old eldest son Weston to begin kindergarten in August, Walton said she had to practice a few precautionary measures to ensure his safety.
Then, Walton continued to ask her boy what he would do if the teacher told him he didn't need his bag and asked him to get in the corner.
SHOPPING FOR SCHOOL ESSENTIALS
The mother-of-two bought the regular school supplies for her son, coupled with a bulletproof Spiderman backpack. Like many parents, Walton struggled to shake off the anxiety of sending her son to school in the wake of unlikely circumstances.
Walton expressed that she was familiar with safety drills in school and decided to use her knowledge and experience to teach her son a few helpful tips.
PREPARING HER CHILD
The McAlester woman recalled that she often had threats in school, and it wasn't always easy to decipher which ones were serious.
So, to ensure her son's safety and help prepare him for what he might experience in school, Walton decided to walk him through an at-home shooter drill. She explained:
"I think that it's important for him to at least know a few ideas of what he should be doing rather than just going in blindly and not knowing anything."
Only days before Weston began school as a kindergartner, Walton posted a video on TikTok where she was seen taking her son through an active shooter situation.
In a video that has garnered 7.2 million views as of August 17, Walton asked her son what he would do if someone at school said, "This is not a drill," over the intercom. The kid, with his Spiderman bag, told his mom he would hide in a corner and be very still and quiet.
Weston hides in a corner with his bulletproof backpack. | Source: Tiktok.com/@thewaltonfamily1
AT-HOME SHOOTER DRILL
The mother asked her son to show her how he would use his Spiderman bulletproof backpack. In response, little Weston put his backpack over his head. Then, Walton continued to ask her boy what he would do if the teacher told him he didn't need his bag and asked him to get in the corner.
Weston replied that he would tell his teacher he needed his bulletproof bag. After that, Walton asked the five-year-old what he would do if the cops were outside the classroom, but the shooter was inside. "I say, 'I'm here,'" chimed Weston innocently. To this, his mother replied:
"Absolutely not. If the shooter is in there, you don't say a word."
Weston shields himself with his Spiderman bulletproof backpack. | Source: Tiktok.com/@thewaltonfamily1
Ultimately, the Oklahoma mother asked her son what he would do if he managed to leave the school building. Weston told his mom that he would run home.
In return, Walton told her kid to run as far away from the school as possible. She also assured Weston she would find him.
COMMENTS FROM USERS
The mother-son duo's TikTok video became a viral sensation, attracting widespread attention from people worldwide:
"This is terrifying but it's our reality AND IT SHOULDNT Be!!"
— (@shoelover99) August 12, 2022
"I'm so sorry you have to teach this to your child, but good job Mom."
— (@maile122968) August 10, 2022
"When you said 'mom will find you' I cried so hard."
(@kendall_evelyn04) August 11, 2022
HELPING OTHER PARENTS
Walton shared that while it was hard for her to go through the drill, she wanted to ensure her son's safety. She said that little Weston had multiple questions after the Uvalde incident, so she answered them in the best way possible and narrated her own school experience.
The distraught mom admitted that she was scared her son's life might be in jeopardy in a place where he was supposed to feel safe and protected. When asked how she felt about the response to her viral TikTok video, she replied:
"I was just trying to show what we do at home and share a product that I recommended, and maybe inspire other parents to break the ice to have this important talk."
DESPERATE TIMES CALL FOR DESPERATE MEASURES
Janine Domingues, a clinical psychologist with the Child Mind Institute in New York City, said it was natural for parents to experience back-to-school anxiety following the Uvalde shooting. She advised anxious parents to discuss safety procedures, including drills, with the school officials.
Domingues said that parents should communicate openly with children and answer any questions they have to help them cope with fear and overcome anxiety and uncertainty.
Safe and Sound Schools, a nonprofit organization created by families who lost kids in the Sandy Hook school shooting, suggested that parents discover what safety procedures are practiced in schools before speaking with their children.
Indeed, what Walton and countless other parents are experiencing is heart-rending, and we hope nobody has to face such circumstances. Our heartfelt prayers and best wishes go out to all the youngsters and their families.
Click here to read another story about a ten-year-old Texas girl who spent 66 days fighting for life after the Uvalde tragedy and finally went home to doctors and her family's cheers.
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