A Texas 5th grader stunned his mother when he admitted he volunteered to be a human shield for his classmates if a school shooting occurred.
Tanai Benard was floored when she learned 10-year-old Dez wasn’t chosen by his teacher to protect his classmates after the door was locked and barricaded if an active shooter came on the premises. Benard’s viral Friday, Feb. 16 Facebook post detailing the exchange with her son, who said he and three other boys should stand in front of the rest of the class on a back wall, explains her shock.
“I internally went from 0 to 100 real quick,” Benard wrote. “My child is one of only 2 Black children in a class of 23. Being transparent, I immediately went to the ‘why is my Black son being put on the front line?’ (Just being real) So I asked before I verbally stated my thoughts*”
When asked why he was picked for the role, Dez told her, “I didn’t get picked. I volunteered to push the table and protect my friends,” which induced “immediate nausea” in his mother.
“If it came down to it I would rather be the one that died protecting my friends then have an entire class die and I be the only one that lived,” Dez told her.
“Father God, it took everything out of me not to break down,” she wrote. “I still have a lump in my throat. 10 damn years old and this has to be our babies thought process in America.”
Dez explained further to KHOU, “It would be like, ‘I already had my turn to live so let me let the other 22 students live the life they wanted to live.”
Benard, who traveled to nine different countries with Dez and his two siblings, including those without running water, explained she couldn’t say another word after their talk.
“What do you tell your child?” the single mom and educator says. “Do you tell them to not be selfless?”
She later added in a Feb. 24 Facebook post that she prays Dez “remains this pure forever because we all know this world can attempt to taint the purest of man!”