"Mom I'm scared," wrote the boy of the incident, where two were shot and two others injured. When she asked if he was safe, the boy replied, "IDK [I don't know] mom."
Trigger Warning: This story contains details of gun violence that readers may find disturbing
The sad reality of America is that little, vulnerable children have to fear for their lives every day as they attend school. There's no guarantee that one of the students wouldn't just start shooting in the classroom or walk the hallways injuring everything in their way with the terrorizing weapon. A stark reminder of this gripping fear is a text thread between a mother and her child which was recently shared by CBS reporter Jason Allen. The student informs his mother about an active shooting at his school before asking for help. "Mom there's a shooting. Mom help," wrote the boy around 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
Texts a mother shared with me from her son, during the shooting at a high school today in Mansfield. Captures the moment well pic.twitter.com/sS6HxpMW9J— Jason Allen (@CBS11JasonAllen) October 6, 2021
Around the same time, police in Arlington, Texas, responded to a call about a shooting that was taking place on the second floor of Timberview High School. Authorities believe that the gun violence may have happened after two students began fighting in class and the suspect Timothy George Simpkins, 18, pulled out a gun. "Mom I'm scared," wrote the boy of the incident, where two were shot and two others injured. The mom then asked if he was safe and to this, her son uncertainly responded, "IDK [I don't know] mom." The screenshot immediately went viral with FaceMoms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America sharing it and writing, "No parent should ever receive a text like this; no child should feel the terror of an active shooter in their school."
The messages above were between Stella Oigo, and her son Tervil. They lost a family member to gun violence years ago, which added to the urgency of the moment yesterday. pic.twitter.com/YmbyNsXKfM— Jason Allen (@CBS11JasonAllen) October 7, 2021
Many parents told CBS Dallas-Fort Worth that they too had received similar messages from their kids who were at Timberview at the time of the shooting. "She texted me when I was at work and she said, 'Mom, this is not a drill and I love you,'" shared a terrified Kimberly Middleton. "That was a little hard for me this morning." The suspect was eventually taken into custody, while three of the victims had to be hospitalized, with at least one needing surgery. Things could have ended "so much differently than what it did" expressed another parent. "When you wake up in the morning, you think it's going to be one way and it ends up being a completely different way," shared Stephanie Wade.
I couldn't agree more. It's pretty sad— Nicole Cagle (@NatashaNicoleP) October 8, 2021
"You never know when it's going to be your last day. So I am very thankful to have my daughter with me," she added. Wednesday's incident was only the latest school shooting in the U.S. this year. Per EducationWeek, there have been 22 such incidents that have resulted in injuries or deaths since January 1. As a result of these school shootings, 6 people, including four students, have died and 31 injured. Despite this lawmakers seem to be uninterested in doing anything to resolve it. Their usual response is to install metal detectors at the entrance and forbid students from using backpacks. Thankfully, no one was killed during this latest attack but just think about the trauma that the students at Timberview High School and their parents had to undergo.
Land of the free? Hardly. pic.twitter.com/nylQHnFsiB— PoliticsGirl (@IAmPoliticsGirl) October 6, 2021
It's not just about the schools that have been shot up, but every school where kids spent their childhoods running active shooter drills and their parents who send them to school every day fearing the worst. Just imagine the mental stress they must be going through. Despite getting a glimpse of the horror that grips students and parents during such life-threatening violence, it's unlikely that it would trigger any gun reform and people everywhere are frustrated about that. If lawmakers (Republicans) truly care about the country's children, then they wouldn't be constantly blocking meaningful gun reform or passing laws, such as Texas did by allowing people over 21 to carry a handgun (concealed or not) in public without a permit or training. Governor Greg Abbott and many prominent Republicans fully supported this law because they seem to think safety can be achieved by allowing just anyone to carry life-threatening weapons.
Cover image source: Twitter | Jason Allen