When it comes to buying back-to-school supplies, most parents are familiar with the usual necessities: a box of crayons, fresh markers, some notebooks, maybe some Kleenex.
But for one Oklahoma mom, a bulletproof backpack was also a back-to-school must for her kindergartener this year.
In a now-viral TikTok video, Cassie Walton shows her 5-year-old son Weston preparing for the start of school with a bulletproof Spiderman backpack. In the video, Cassie coaches her son through an active shooter situation.
Walton simulates a drill in which someone at school says over the intercom, “This is not a drill.”
“What do you do?” She asks.
Weston grabs his bulletproof backpack, then replies, “Get in the corner and be really quiet and still.”
@thewaltonfamily1 Happy back to school season…. #foryoupage #backtoschool #foryou #needschange #PostitAffirmations #momiktok ♬ L$d – Luclover
Walton then asked her son, “Show me how you use your bulletproof backpack.” The 5-year-old squeezes in the corner behind his backpack and ducks his head low.
“If a teacher says, ‘Weston you don’t need your backpack let’s get in the corner,'” Walton prompts her son.
To which he replies, “I say, ‘No I need it, it’s bulletproof.'”
Then, Walton asks the 5-year-old what he would do if the police are outside the door, but the shooter is in his classroom.
“I say, ‘I’m here’,” Weston replies with childlike enthusiasm.
Walton informs her son, “Absolutely not, you don’t say a word. If the shooter is in there, you don’t say a word, you stay absolutely silent.”
She ends her video by giving Weston some final instructions should he find himself outside of the school building.
“You run as far away from the school as you can go,” Walton told him. “Mom will find you.”
Walton says the extra measures she’s taking this year come after a slew of mass shootings at public schools over the last several years.
“It makes me feel very sad that we have come to this as a country and I wish I could be different,” Walton said, adding that she is most scared that “something will happen to him in a place where he is supposed to be the most safe.”
The mother of two says that her son had questions following the events in Uvalde, and she did her best to answer them honestly. Going into this school year, Weston knows what to do.
“I wanted him to be prepared and have somewhat of an idea of what to do if the situation should ever arise,” she said.
The video, which Walton expected “may” get some attention, has now racked up over 7 million views in just one week.
“I was just trying to show what we do at home and share a product that I recommended, and maybe inspire other parents to break the ice to have this important talk.”