A devastating Facebook post written by a woman named Shelley Harrison Reed has gone viral for demonstrating the “new normal” American schoolchildren face daily.
Written on February 7, Reed’s post describes the aftermath of a bomb threat called into her children’s school.
She writes how although there was a genuine lockdown and police were called, her children “seemed fine” when they returned home from school.
But it wasn’t until she was changing her daughter, Vanessa, out of her uniform that she noticed something written on the girl’s arm.
“Love mom and dad,” it read in marker.
When she asked about the message, the little girl replied that she had written it “in case the bad guy got to us and I got killed, you and daddy would know that I love you.”
When she began to cry, “I watched a little piece of her innocence get stolen away,” writes Reed.
The incident understandably remained with Reed hours later.
Reed’s post garnered over 82,000 reactions, 9,000 comments, and 68,000 shares in less than one weeks’ time. Many of the comments were from moms relating to Shelley’s situation and voicing their sadness and helplessness at the state of affairs.
It was then shared to Twitter—where it also went viral—by mom, social worker, and teacher Allison Berkowitz.
"So my kids school had a genuine lock-down today... I say to her, why did you write that on your arm? She says, 'in case the bad guy got to us and I got killed, you and daddy would know that I love you,' and she started to cry." -Shelley Harrison Reed pic.twitter.com/blKjrzIfJX— ❤️ Allison Berkowitz ❤️ (@SocialWorkItOut) February 12, 2019
The post made people tear up across social media platforms.
At least I didn’t see this until the end of the day. It totally made me cry.
— ℙ𝕝𝕠𝕥𝕥 𝕄𝕠𝕞 ❤️👪🌊 (@plottmom1) February 12, 2019
This made the tears well up in my eyes. Its just too sad for words.
— Lisa Guerrero (@LMKrules) February 12, 2019
This brought tears to my eyes.
— kasie (@kasie724) February 12, 2019
Now I’m crying. No child should have to go through that. 😕
— Linda Childers (@lindachilders1) February 12, 2019
This makes me physically nauseous.
— Marshmellymel (@marshmellymel) February 12, 2019
our society is so sick.
I teared up reading this.
— Cali Dreaming NaphiSoc (@NaphiSoc) February 12, 2019
Lock down drills are truamatizing. I’m so sorry.
— ☘️ Laura ☘️🌊 (@SAHMvoter) February 12, 2019
Dear god. Why do are children have to live in fear of going to school and never seeing their parents again. This is complete insanity!
— James Smith (@jymbo916) February 12, 2019
The fact that we have normalized school shootings, and that children across the nation live with the fear of dying every day, is utterly devastating.
Before I decided to homeschool my kindergartner (for unrelated reasons) my 9th grader, who does HS online, begged me not to send his little sister to school because he wouldn’t be there to protect her if something happened. We’re giving an entire generation PTSD.
— Jamie Ashe (@Evil_Ashe) February 12, 2019
I’m 17. I have panic attacks about not surviving my school day. I shouldn’t have to live like this.
— Mary McNeill (@Mary_McNeill_) February 13, 2019
I’m so sorry. Two years ago during our lockdown in school, I got sent home a letter tht said to “Practice staying still” with my then 6th grader- he shook to much. This makes me so angry and so sad . Pls hug ur kiddo. And yourself-
— Stacey (@nursegalmom) February 12, 2019
We’ve created an entire generation of traumatized children. We need to stop arguing about the cause as if it’s one thing or the other, and take real steps to STOP THE CARNAGE. #Parkland #GunControlNow
— Rosie👏🏼Bita (@rosiebita) February 13, 2019
I’m so sorry. Here in the UK I send my kids off to school every single day & zero percent of my brain is wondering if this will be the day they are shot. They have never had an active shooter drill or needed a bulletproof backpack.
Freedom comes in more than one flavour, America
— Ben Stephens (@stephens_ben) February 12, 2019
Something in our country needs to change, and fast. But until comprehensive gun legislation is enacted, and until lawmakers stop stuffing their pockets with NRA cash, progress is simply unattainable. We need to do better.