By Emma Dunn via SWNS
This Oklahoma mom prepped her five-year-old for school by running active shooter drills with him at home and is sending him to class with a bulletproof backpack.
Cassie Walton, 23, taught Weston, five, what to do if there was a threat at his school after a gunman killed 19 children at Uvalde Elementary School in Texas, just 500 miles from their home in McAllister, Oklahoma.
The mother-of-two turns off the lights and gets Weston to go into the corner and hide, putting his bulletproof backpack in front of his face to shield his body.
Cassie believes being honest about threats is important so children can be prepared.
She says Weston has understood it all really well and feels sad about the reason for doing the drills.
“I think it’s really important for Weston to be prepared even if he never needs to use it," she said.
“He knows the severity of the situation and knows that it’s a possibility that there could be an active shooter at his school.
“We’ve done the drills a few times at home, and he does them at school with his classmates.
“We’ll do them every few months with him, so he knows what to do.”
Cassie, who had shooter training herself when she was at school, decided to teach Weston what to do after an attack on Uvalde Elementary School killed 19 young children and two adults.
“It was so scary and sad to hear about,” Cassie said.
“I just thought that if I can make sure Weston is informed and prepped then it might save him in a situation like that.
“Weston saw some of the coverage on the TV and asked if it could happen to him and why someone would do something like that.
“I answered him honestly, so he knows the severity of it all.”
Cassie taught Weston to run and hide and bought him a bulletproof backpack which he has in the classroom with him at all times.
“I did a drill with him before he started school, but I follow what they teach children,” she said.
“I tell him to go to the corner and huddle together with classmates.
“He knows to run past his backpack and get that on the way.
“If a shooter is in the room with him, he knows to stay quiet and if he gets out, he knows to run as far as he can.”
Cassie remembers her own training as a child in high school, where she was taught ALICE - Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.
“We had a bomb threat once and a lockdown when someone was walking past with a weapon,” she said.
“But everything seems worse now so it’s even more important to be prepared.”
Cassie, a stay-at-home mom who lives with her husband, Stoney Walton, 24, a car salesman, says she will also teach their youngest Huston, age two, the drills when he gets old enough.
“It’s good to have conversations about it,” Cassie said.
“I don’t sugar coat it, but I don’t go into detail.”
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