A Michigan mother was surprised to learn the reason behind her toddler’s decision to stand on the toilet in their family’s home.
What Stacey Wehrman Feeley thought was mischievous behavior by her 3-year-old daughter was actually practice for a lockdown drill, according to Feeley.
“The moment she told me what she was doing I broke down. She was practicing for a lockdown drill at her preschool and what you should do if you are stuck in a bathroom. At that moment all innocense (sic) of what I thought my three-year-old possessed was gone,” she captioned the photo on Facebook.
Feeley went on to call out politicians and their policies on gun laws.
“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,” she wrote. “They are barely 3 and they will hide in bathroom stalls standing on top of toilet seats.”
She added, “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?”
The photo was taken less than 2 weeks after the Orlando massacre on June 12, when Omar Mateen gunned down 49 patrons and injured 53 at an Orlando nightclub.
Fordham University Associate Professor of Psychology, Joshua L. Brown describes instances of lockdown drills for children as scary. He suggests that school administrators think carefully about how to present emergency situations to children, as their age can make it difficult to understand the gravity of the situation.
As for how parents should broach the topic of the violent happenings of the world with their toddlers, Brown suggests listening to the questions their toddlers may have.
“With children as young as three, they will not likely be able to understand about violent events in the world if they are just described by parents, and in fact may become unnecessarily scared if parents do so,” Brown said. “Better is if parents listen patiently to the questions their young child may ask, and then provide very basic, matter-of-fact information in response.”
Brown added, “The key is to not to overwhelm or make children more anxious by providing too much information or information they are too young to understand.”
Mass shootings have been occurring more frequently in recent years, according to the FBI. Below is a list of the latest mass shootings that killed eight or more people.
June 2016: Orlando nightclub killer guns down 49 and injures 53 people in Pulse Nightclub.
Dec. 2015: Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik murdered 14 victims in San Bernardino, Calif.
Oct. 2015: Christopher Harper-Mercer walked into Umpqua Community College and killed an assistant professor and eight students in a classroom, before he took his own life.
June 2015: Nine people killed during a Bible study session at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, at the hands Dylann Roof. Roof’s trial is expected to begin next year.
Sept. 2013: Gunman Aaron Alexis killed 12 people and injured three others at the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command inside the Washington Navy Yard in Southeast Washington, D.C., before he was shot and killed by an officer. It was the second deadliest shooting on a military base after Ford Hood in 2009.
Dec. 2012: Adam Lanza, 20, entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and fatally shot 20 children and six staff members. Lanza attended the elementary school for a brief time and his mother also worked at the school.
June 2012: James Holmes murdered 12 people at a Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., during a midnight screening of the film “The Dark Knight Rises.” Holmes was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.