As school children returned to classrooms in the US this week, one mother shared a glimpse into the horrifying reality for students living in America.
Taking to TikTok, Cassie Walton posted a potentially life-saving lesson with her son who can be seen holding up a bright red Spiderman backpack.
“The teacher calls over the intercom, says ‘this is not a drill, everybody go in the corner and be really quiet and still,’ what do you do?” the mum asks from behind the camera.
With her words, the little boy rushes to a corner of the room where he sits down with his back to the wall and backpack in front of him.
“Now show me how you use your bulletproof backpack,” his mum orders while her son lifts the bag to shield his tiny body, tucking his bare legs beneath him.
“Ok good job,” she replies before continuing, “if a teacher says, ‘Weston you don’t need your backpack, let’s get in the corner,”
The boy cries back, “I say, ‘no I need it, it’s bulletproof’.”
“If the police are outside of the door but the shooter is in your room and they call out, ‘is anybody in there,’ what do you do?” the woman presses on.
“I say I am here-” the little boy starts to respond before he’s interrupted.
“Absolutely not, you don’t say a word,” his mum says. “If the shooter is in there you do not say a word, you stay absolutely silent.”
“Ok, you get out of the building, where do you go? Where do you run?”
“Home,” the boy suggests.
“You run as far away from the school as you can go,” his mother replies.
“Mum will find you.”
Social media support
The video, which is titled ‘happy back to school season,’ has been viewed more than 5.6 million times since it was posted on Wednesday.
“I’m sobbing,” one woman wrote, while many others said they were “bawling” over the clip.
“This made me cry, he’s just a baby,” another said.
Others were too horrified that the lesson was needed.
“We shouldn't have to have conversations like this with our kids,” one parent wrote.
“This breaks my heart that this is even necessary,” someone else said
“I am absolutely terrified for this school year,” claimed another.
Among the comments, many praised the mother for teaching her child how to protect himself.
“As a teacher, thank you for sharing the importance of this,” one woman wrote.
While another teacher added, “I wish more parents would explain [this] to their preschoolers because the amount of panic I feel that I have to hide them as fast as I can is terrifying.”
“This saddens me so much,” someone else said. “Well done Mama for taking control of what you can.”
27 dead in 27 school shootings this year alone
There have been 27 shootings at US schools so far this year, resulting in the death of 27 people, according to Education Week.
Twenty-one of those were killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, when a gunman opened fire on May 24.
Among those who lost their lives were 19 children, aged nine to 11, and two teachers, Irma Garcia and Eva Mireles.
It was the deadliest school shooting since 2012 when a gunman shot and killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
The US has roughly 50 million children attending schools across the country.
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