When her school was placed on lockdown, 7-year-old Vanessa grabbed a purple marker and scribbled the words “love mom and dad” on her arm.
She did it “in case the bad guy got us and I got killed, you and daddy would know that I love you,” Vanessa told her mom, Shelley Harrison Reed, after school.
Harrison Reed posted the photo of her daughter’s arm and her account of what happened on Facebook last week. Her post has since been shared nearly 100,000 times.
Her children, Vanessa and 10-year-old Sean, were at their school in Delaware on February 7 when someone called in a bomb threat. The students immediately went through their lockdown procedures. Police investigated and eventually gave the all clear.
When her kids got home after school, Harrison Reed said they seemed fine and told their versions of what happened. It wasn’t until when Vanessa changed out of her school uniform that her mom saw the text on her arm.
“She started to cry,” said Harrison Reed in her Facebook post, “as did I as I watched a little piece of her innocence get stolen away.”
The moment left Harrison Reed feeling heartbroken for “this new ‘normal’ our kids have to deal with on any given day,” she said on Facebook.
After her post went viral, Harrison Reed said she had no idea her story would resonate with so many people.
“When I wrote this post, I didn’t have a message,” said Harrison Reed in an interview. “However, if we can take something out of this story, it should be that our children should feel safe in their schools.”