Girl, 7, writes heartbreaking note to parents on arm during school lockdown 'in case the bad guy got to us'

Elise Solé
Shelley Harrison Reed says her 7-year-old daughter wrote a heartbreaking message on her arm during a school lockdown. (Photo: Shelley Harrison Reed via Facebook)

A little girl wrote a gut-wrenching message to her parents while hiding in her classroom during a school lockdown.

Seven-year-old Vanessa was at school in Hockessin, Del., on Feb. 7 when officials declared a lockdown because a caller made a bomb threat to an upperclassman building, mom Shelley Harrison Reed told Yahoo Lifestyle. Vanessa’s 10-year-old brother, who attends intermediate school, was also on campus. 

“So my kid’s school had a genuine lockdown today,” Reed wrote on Facebook after school. “Some whack job called in a bomb threat. Police came and everything was fine, Thank God!” 

“It wasn’t until later when Vanessa was changing out of her school uniform that I saw this on her arm,” wrote Reed, posting a snapshot of her daughter’s arm. The sleeve of Vanessa’s sparkly cat sweater was pushed up, and a note written in marker read: “LOVE MOM AND DAD.” 


So my kids school had a genuine lockdown today. Some whack job called in a bomb threat 😱🤬 Police came and everything…

Posted by Shelley Harrison Reed on Thursday, February 7, 2019

Reed asked her daughter why she wrote the message. “She says, ‘In case the bad guy got to us and I got killed, you and Daddy would know that I love you,’ and she started to cry (as did I, as I watched a little piece of her innocence get stolen away). To know that my 7yo was put in a position to think that though is absolutely gut wrenching and it’s killing me inside. 

“It’s now been a couple hours, and I can’t seem to shake this awful feeling, feeling of sadness, fear, and plain disgusts for this new ‘normal’ our kids have to deal with on any given day,” Reed wrote. “It’s a very scary and disturbing society we now live in, and it’s heartbreaking.”

The school had conducted drills prior but never an actual lockdown. “Vanessa said she was scared because her classroom didn’t lock from the inside and the ‘bad guy’ could have gotten in,” Reed told Yahoo Lifestyle. “She wrote it because, ‘If I got killed and my parents came, they would see it when they found my body.’” Vanessa said she hid in a corner between a bookshelf and the wall with her marker.

Vanessa’s father, Jeff, told Yahoo Lifestyle that Vanessa was offered therapy in school after the scare. Her older brother is doing OK, he said, but the little girl feels better keeping the message written on her arm.

“We tried washing off the note, but she pulled her arm back and wouldn’t let us,” Reed tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “She’s even written over it with a different colored marker. If that offers her comfort, we won’t object.”

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