I Kept My Kids Home After the Viral TikTok Threat Dec 17

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The school bell would have just rang. And my kids are currently playing in the living room. I kept them home today after the viral TikTok threat Dec 17 to schools. After reading about these insane TikTok posts, I felt completely sick to my stomach. We just passed the 9th anniversary of Sandy Hook. Please don’t ask me to be chill about gun violence in my kids’ elementary school. 

I do not want to live in fear. But truth is, I am. 

Some of that is just parenthood, though. Loving them is the easiest and scariest thing I do. The transition of having my heart live inside my body to having it exist in my three daughters happened quickly. All of the sudden, I wasn’t my first thought– they were. All of the sudden, they became the most important. They are my pride and joy. My hope and tomorrow. My everything. And as no stranger to devastating and earth-shattering loss, I’m truly not sure I could go on without them. 

Before parenthood, I’d never known love and fear like this. It reminds me that I am alive – which is beautiful. It also reminds me how fragile our existence is – which is terrifying.

So yes, I’m keeping my kids home today after viral TikTok threats to schools. If you didn’t, I don’t judge you in the slightest. You made a different choice than I did. I’m comfortable with my choice and am content to let you make yours. This experience is already hard enough without the judgement. 

But I’m not just sitting at home today. No. If my kids are staying at home because of a fear of violence from a social media platform, I’ve got a list of things to do.

  1. Being gentle with myself. I am not crazy, overly anxious, or overreacting to feel the way I do. Sandy Hook was 9 years ago and nothing has changed. Just this year, there were around 149 incidents of gunfire on school grounds, resulting in 32 deaths and 94 injuries nationally according to Everytown for Gun Safety. So, this threat doesn’t live in our heads or “out there” in the big, scary world. This threat is real. I am not a crazy person for being rocked by this.
  2. Putting my money where my mouth is. Everytown for Gun Safety (as mentioned above) or Moms Demand Action are two great organizations I proudly support. I encourage you to join me in pledging any amount of money to working towards common sense gun laws. Do you know the gun laws in your state? 
  3. Calling my elected officials. I have so many questions for them. What are they doing about TikTok’s role in this? Will they support common sense gun reform like background checks and waiting periods? Will they advocate to remove certain assault rifles from the market? I plan on taking all of my fear and anger out on them (respectfully). They have the capacity to affect change so I will lean on them accordingly. 
  4. Supporting local mental health organizations. We don’t only have a gun crisis in our country, we have a mental health crisis. Local (to me) orgs like Seacoast Mental Health Center do amazing work to support people during times of need. I think, at the very least, we all realize THE PEOPLE ARE NOT OKAY. We are struggling. We feel alone. It’s been hard. Notice which organizations around you are helping and then help them.
  5. Thanking teachers and administrators. I’m reaching out to my girls’ teachers and any friends I have in schools today. They continue to show up for our kids in the worst of times. I’m sick of them being martyrs in our society. They are sometimes, literally martyrs in school shootings. Do we realize this? They deserve our respect, support, and encouragement. Thank them today. Call the school and ask “what do you need?” Then, do what you can for them. 

This is a crappy day. I have no rainbows and sunshine to offer you so I apologize if you were hoping for a bright little bow to wrap this all up with. This is hard, this is sad. But we cannot just sit here. We cannot accept this reality for our children and their children. We can do something. 

What are you doing today?

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Allison’s mission in life is to notice the extraordinary in the ordinary. Her commitment to see beyond what’s in front of her was fostered by her degree in Philosophy and Theology from Boston College. Allison’s a book nerd and credits her parents and inspiring English teachers for her love of reading and writing. She went on to earn her Master in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College and then taught high school for several years, both in New England and San Francisco. After moving from San Francisco to Boston with her engineer husband, she began teaching yoga and working as a social media marketing consultant. Now a Portsmouth resident, she spends most of her days with her three daughters (she does not have enough arms) and does her best to find the bliss amidst the endless snacking, dance parties and tiaras. With all the beautiful chaos in her life, she’s grateful to have her partner-in-crime (husband Charlie) and fellow movie quote enthusiast alongside her. Her passion for writing first drew her to Seacoast Moms as a contributing writer, and her desire to connect moms of the Seacoast with businesses who serve and interest them led her to become SM’s owner. Being able to write about the ordinary grace present in motherhood, while interacting with incredible Seacoast business owners is a dream come true.

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