Young woman with captions "Me after going through the Sandy Hook school shooting in Kindergarten wondering if everything will be okay again" (l) "Everyone telling me it'll be okay and things will be back to normal in no time" (c) "Me now a freshman in high school and it hasn't gotten better" (r)

@kaliahelise.spam/TikTok

‘It hasn’t gotten better’: TikTok from Sandy Hook shooting survivor goes viral

The TikToker was in kindergarten when the shooting happened.

 

Claire Goforth

Tech

Published Dec 16, 2021   Updated Dec 16, 2021, 12:11 pm CST

A girl who says she survived the Sandy Hook school shooting has gone viral with a TikTok about the tragedy.

The December 2012 school shooting was one of the worst in United States’ history. A total of 26 were killed, including six staffers and 20 children between the ages of six and seven.

TikToker @kaliahelise.spam (“Kaliah”) says that she is one of the survivors. Earlier this month, Kaliah posted a TikTok captioned, “I wish I could say it got better but honestly it hasn’t.”

As dialogue from BoJack Horseman between BoJack and the angel of death begins, Kaliah sits mutely staring towards the ground. Her expression is one of sadness and trauma.

A caption above her head reads, “Me after going through the Sandy Hook school shooting in [kindergarten] wondering if everything will be okay again.”

She mouths the dialogue from the show, “Is it terrifying?” BoJack says.

“No. I don’t think so. It’s the way it is, you know?” the angel of death replies. “Everything must come to an end. The drip finally stops.”

“See you on the other side,” BoJack says.

“Oh, BoJack, no,” the angel of death says gently, “This is it.”

The caption above Kaliah reads, “Me now a freshman in high school and it hasn’t gotten better.” She stares into the camera, tears streaming down her face.

Kaliah’s TikTok has been viewed 2.5 million times as of this writing.

Comments were largely sympathetic and outraged. Many shared how old they were when other school shootings happened, such as the 1999 Columbine school shooting. Columbine wasn’t the first mass school shooting but it is widely seen as ushering in the era in which these are common.

“I was in 4th grade when Columbine happened,” wrote one. “They said it would never happen again. I’m 32.”

Comments expressing disgust at the lack of meaningful gun control since then were similarly common.

“When the Sandy Hook kids are in high school and there’s still no gun control,” said one. Kaliah’s profile says she’s 14 years old.

TikToks tagged #schoolshooting are exceedingly common on the platform. Those with the tag have more than 200 million all-time views. Some of the TikToks are from actual school shootings.

While the content can be disturbing and difficult to watch, many appreciate its value. TikToker @thebeardedskeptic posted a stitch of Kaliah’s TikTok. In it, he discussed how school shootings have helped change his mind to support gun control.

“…[W]e need to see more videos of survivors of these school shootings,” one person commented on Kaliah’s TikTok.

“People need to understand the lasting effects it has on children.”

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*First Published: Dec 16, 2021, 11:14 am CST