Teacher Goes Viral As She Shares Her Active Shooter Backpack
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Featured Image Credit: TikTok/@mrsvidal6
A teacher in the US has gone viral after she shared a look at the 'active shooter backpack' she keeps in her classroom.
Kelsey Vidal, a first grade (Year 2) teacher in California, has been sharing videos on TikTok in which she exhibits the array of protective equipment she has in readiness for a potential school shooting.
In her 'safety cubby' she keeps a baseball bat and a specially designed door barricading device, as well as two backpacks - one general emergency backpack supplied by the school, and her own active shooter backpack she put together with the help of her dad and brother.
In the backpack - which she said she hopes continues to 'collect dust' - she stores tourniquets to stop major bleeding and pressure bandages, as well as scissors to cut through jeans or shirts.
The bag contains bulletproof metal plates and it splits in two so that it can be slipped over the head, before being strapped up around the sides.
The 29-year-old teacher's videos have racked up millions of views, and while people admired her preparedness, it was hard to swallow the fact that such extreme precautions are necessary in a school.
Commenting on one of her videos, a TikTok user wrote: "It's so heartbreaking that you have to have this, but it's beautiful that you're so prepared to protect your students."
Another said: "As a country, this is embarrassing. So happy you went out of your way to keep the students safe, we shouldn't have this problem."
A third added: "My heart breaks you have to even prepare for this but you are awesome for doing it."
The issue of gun control in the US has been brought into sharp focus yet again following a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, last month, in which 21 people were killed.
Senators have since reached an agreement on a bipartisan gun violence bill, which if passed, would make background checks tougher for the youngest gun buyers and bolster spending for school safety and mental health programmes, while barring gun ownership by romantic partners convicted of domestic abuse.
Speaking to BuzzFeed, Mrs Vidal said she'd rather be safe than sorry in her classroom.
She said: "Unfortunately, I can't say that it won't ever happen to me or my school. I'm sure that is what those [Uvalde] teachers thought too.
"It does cause a lot of anxiety when I hear another story about a mass shooting involving students. It has become my biggest fear as an educator. Any child, any student, should not have to die going to school [and] getting an education.
"I have the backpack in my classroom so that I am prepared. I would rather have it now instead of wishing I had it if there was ever an active shooter."
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