A 7-year-old girl in Delaware shocked her mom when she wrote a heartbreaking note on her arm during a school lockdown.
On Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, Shelley Reed sent her two children, Sean, 10, and Vanessa, 7, to school at Odyssey Charter School like any normal day.
Once she began to get notifications from a Facebook page for parents at Odyssey that some parents were hearing rumors of a bomb threat toward the charter school, however, fear quickly settled in.
Thirty minutes later, the school confirmed that the bomb threat was being taken seriously and that law enforcement had come to the school to secure the students’ safety.
Reed told Liftable, a brand of The Western Journal, that she tried to remain calm and chose not to swarm the school with other concerned parents.
“I felt comfortable enough knowing that the school was handling it,” she told Liftable. “Of course, just being a mother, you’re going to worry for the rest of the day until you see your own children and put your arms around them.”
When Sean and Vanessa came home, Reed said that they didn’t make it seem like a super traumatic day. They each shared their individual experiences of the day, since they were in different classrooms in different buildings, and quickly moved on to their homework and other after-school activities.
Although Vanessa seemed unphased at first, Reed would soon fully understand the thoughts and fears that went through her 7-year-old daughter’s mind as she tucked herself in a corner between a bookshelf and a wall.
“It wasn’t until later when Vanessa was changing out of her school uniform that I saw this on her arm,” she wrote on Facebook.
Vanessa had written the words “Love Mom And Dad” on her tiny arm with a marker.
When she asked Vanessa why she wrote those words on her arm, Reed wasn’t prepared for the heartbreaking response that her young, innocent daughter would give.
Vanessa said through tears, “In case the bad guy got to us and I got killed, you and daddy would know that I love you.”
Reed said she cried as well, watching a piece of her daughter’s innocence “get stolen away.”
“To know that my 7yo was put in a position to think that thought is absolutely gut wrenching and it’s killing me inside,” she wrote.
Even hours after seeing the haunting note on her daughter’s arm, Reed couldn’t “shake” her initial reactions of sadness, fear and disgust.
Thankfully her children were ultimately kept safe by the quick action of the school and law enforcement, but Reed expressed how scary and disturbing the new “normal” her children live in truly is.
Since sharing the Facebook post outlining the events of the day, Reed’s story has been shared over 100,000 times, affecting people from all over in ways that she said she could’ve never imagined.
It has also been twisted in ways that she never intended it to be interpreted.
“Some people have twisted it into an anti-gun situation and it has nothing to do with my post,” she told Liftable. “I was just posting a very raw, emotional moment for me and my daughter. It was just so profound that I felt the need to share it with my mom friends in hopes that I wasn’t the only one feeling like that.”
Even though this was a scary situation for her family, Reed told “Today” that it won’t deter her from continuing to send her children to public school.
“I’m not one who can home school, and I don’t want to shelter my kid from the world, so to speak,” she said. “I am a believer in public schools, and I think this is a new day and age that we’re experiencing, and all we can do is pray.”
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