WILMINGTON, Del. — A note that a Delaware student scrawled on her arm during a school lockdown is going viral online.
Shelley Harrison Reed, the mother of the 7-year-old student, posted the haunting image on Facebook after her daughter came home following a lockdown at the Wilmington-area Odyssey Charter School on Feb. 7.
“So my kids (sic) school had a genuine lockdown today,” she wrote. “Some whack job called in a bomb threat. Police came and everything was fine, Thank God!”
Reed said it was the first school lockdown her daughter and 10-year-old son have ever experienced. She wrote they appeared to be fine once they got home.
But later, she noticed the message that her daughter had written on her arm during the lockdown in what appears to be purple marker. The note reads, “Love Mom and Dad.”
“I say to her, why did you write that on your arm,” Reed said in her Facebook post. “She says, in case the bad guy got to us and I got killed, you and daddy would know that I love you.”
Reed said she and her daughter then began to cry “as I watched a little piece of her innocence get stolen away.”
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“I can’t seem to shake this awful feeling, feeling of sadness, fear and plain disgusts (sic) for this new ‘normal’ our kids have to deal with on any given day,” she said in her post. “It’s a very scary and disturbing society we now live in, and it’s heartbreaking.”
Reed’s post — made one week before the anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people and injured 14 others — appears to have struck a nerve online.
As of Friday, her post had been shared 100,000 times, not counting screenshots that also had been shared by others.
Reed and Denise Parks, head of Odyssey Charter School, did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. But Reed told The Hill website this week that she did not expect her post to go viral and did not intend to make any statement about gun control.
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“That’s not what this is about,” she told the website. “It was just about our children feeling safe in school.”
The post has made the family members into minor celebrities. Reed and her husband, Jeff, and the couple’s children also were featured in an article on the “Today“ show’s website.
“I’m not one who can home school, and I don’t want to shelter my kid from the world, so to speak,” Reed told “Today.” “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.”
Follow Scott Goss on Twitter: @ScottGossDel