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19 children between the ages of seven and 10 and two adults died in the horrendous attack in south Texas after a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday.
The 18-year-old suspect was in possession of a handgun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and high-capacity magazines, according to investigators, before he was killed by law enforcement.
Now, in the wake of the 27th school shooting to have taken place in the US this year, parents are revealing how their children – who are as young as toddlers in some cases – responded to being told about this heinous crime.
One parent, Erin Alberty, took to Twitter to explain: “I just told my 3rd grader (Year four in the UK) about the shooting.
“She replied: ‘Yeah. We had a lockdown drill today. There aren't very many hiding places in our room. The good ones all get taken in like 3 seconds’. Then she left.”
Others responded to the thread, writing: “In 2nd grade (Year three), 8 years ago, my kid cried telling me about their shooting drill and how her teacher would try and ‘fight’ the shooter so they had to run as fast as they could out of the room and they all started crying and she told me, ‘I wouldn’t run away mom, I don’t want her dying alone’.”
— Erin Alberty (@erinalberty) May 24, 2022
I just told my 3rd grader about the shooting. She replied:
"Yeah. We had a lockdown drill today. There aren't very many hiding places in our room. The good ones all get taken in like 3 seconds."
Then she left.
“My daughter described how to hide in the bathroom while standing on a toilet with the door slightly ajar so it looks open and empty,” another parent explained. “THE F***. She was seven. She should never be worrying about that. God bless the kids in war zones. I can’t even imagine.”
Another parent admitted: “I still remember my first grader (Year two) telling me he ‘knew his teacher really liked him because she gave him and two other kids she likes an extra good spot to hide’. What the hell do you say to a 6-year-old who believes life and death survivability is based on favouritism?”
“I've been homeschooling because of Covid, but I remember silently crying while I brushed my son's hair before bed during his first week of Kindergarten (Year one) when he described hiding in his classroom that day,” another parent wrote.
“He didn't know why they were hiding and I was thankful for it.”
In 2nd grade (8yr ago) my kid cried telling me about their shooting drill and how her teacher would try and “fight” the shooter so they had to run as fast as they could out of the room &they all started crying and she told me I wouldn’t run away mom I don’t want her dying alone😔— 💜Wendy ⁷💜 (@WpBts7) May 25, 2022
Elsewhere, a school teacher explained: “I’m a high school teacher and we had one of the lockdown drills where they come and rattle the doors.
"[A] student looks at me and whispers ‘is this when I text my mom to say I love her?’ #EnoughIsEnough.”
In the US, the FBI encourages those who are locked down during an active shooter incident, including students and teachers, to react by implementing the ‘Run. Hide. Fight’ protocol.
Many schools across the country practice active shooter drills as often as fire drills, and in settings that care for children as young as nursery age, according to reports.
Back in 2019, the now-Vice President Kamala Harris attempted to draw attention to the number of university students who have had to undergo a mass shooter drill at their school while she appeared on The Tonight Show.
Last night, I asked the students in the audience at the @FallonTonight show whether they’ve ever had to learn how to run, hide, or fight in the event of a mass shooter at their school.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 17, 2019
Nearly every student raised their hand. We are traumatizing these kids. pic.twitter.com/HQi2YDiLoM
She asked the audience: "How many of you guys, as college students, had to have a drill during high school or middle school or elementary school or even in college where you learned about how you need to hide in a closet or crouch in a corner in the event that there was a mass shooter roaming the hallways of your school?"
Nearly every audience members' hand was raised in the clip, and Kamala concluded that the mass shooting protocols from five years ago, which are much the same as today, are 'traumatising these kids'.
To support the victim’s families of the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, head to GoFundMe’s central donation page here
If you believe someone is in crisis and you are worried about them carrying out an act of violence, you can check the critical warning signs at the Sandy Hook Promise charity website here. In an emergency, always call 911 in the US or 999 in the UK.
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