A mother has described how she broke down in tears after taking a picture of her three-year-old daughter standing on a toilet ‒ only to discover that she was practicing for a lockdown drill in the event of a terrorist gun attack.
Stacey Feeley, from Traverse City in Michigan, posted the photograph on Facebook and said that at first she thought her daughter was “doing something cute”.
But when her daughter explained she was taught to do this if a gunman entered her preschool while she was in the toilets, the mother broke down in tears.
“I took this picture because initially I thought it was funny,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
“I was going to send it to my husband to show what our mischievous little three-year-old was up to. However, the moment she told me what she was doing I broke down. She was practising for a lockdown drill at her preschool and what you should do if you are stuck in a bathroom.”
“At that moment all innocence of what I thought my three-year-old possessed was gone.”
Ms Feeley’s post, which has been shared over 33,000 times, came just a few days after the killing of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, the worst mass shooting in modern US history.
The mother continued: “Politicians – take a look. This is your child, your children, your grandchildren, your great grand children and future generations to come.”
“They will live their lives and grow up in this world based on your decisions. They are barely 3 and they will hide in bathroom stalls standing on top of toilet seats.”
“I do not know what will be harder for them? Trying to remain quiet for an extended amount of time or trying to keep their balance without letting a foot slip below the stall door?”
In addition to calling on politicians to pursue greater gun control, Feeley called on “techies” to investigate inventing smart guns and even the NRA to do more.
“I am not pretending to have all the answers or even a shred of them, but unless you want your children standing on top of a toilet, we need to do something!” she said, adding a link to a Facebook activist group called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Feeley said that she had no idea her post would have such an impact on so many people but that she is glad. “I hope it wakes people up,” she said in an interview with ABC News.