U.S. Sen. and presidential candidate Kamala Harris, D-Calif., sparked backlash over the weekend after retweeting First Coast News' story about the availability of bulletproof backpacks here.
Last week, On Your Side's Kamrel Eppinger showed how First Coast retailers were selling bulletproof backpacks at stores like OfficeMax.
Days later, Sen. Harris shared our story to Twitter and said the following:
"Parents shouldn't have to buy a bulletproof backpack for their child just to keep them safe at school. This shouldn't be normal. I will take action to protect our kids."
That didn't go over well with some parents who showed their displeasure in the retweet which has since gone viral.
Twitter user Todd Thomas said, "They don't have to buy these backpacks, Kamala, it's a marketing plot aimed at parents whose fear lie in knowing you aren't going to do anything to keep kids safe at school, because if you were, you'd have done so by now."
Another Twitter user who goes by NCGiGi agreed with Sen. Harris, saying the perceived need for bulletproof backpacks is not normal.
"It's NOT normal, and NO they shouldn't have to," NCGiGi said. "But I tell you now, I would pay whatever it takes to keep my grandson safe!"
WARNING: The following tweet contains strong language.
Another Twitter user, Scott Watson, said arming teachers would be more helpful than bulletproof backpacks.
"It's not 'normal,' it's extremely rare," he said. "Armed security and/or armed teachers would help more than backpacks though."
Others accused Sen. Harris of fear-mongering.
Twitter user @TheReal_Hurl said, "It's not normal nor do normal parents do this, but fear is your currency for power, so keep on pretending that parents are lining up to buy these."
Others, like Twitter user Hannah Drake accused Sen. Harris of trying to profit off of tragedy.
Some called for Sen. Harris to advocate for better security at schools.
Twitter user Skipp Phipps said, "Provide security at our schools at least as good as a government building."
On Your Side's Robert Bradfield spoke with a Jacksonville woman, Carrie Gaines, who wants politicians to refrain from "politicizing children's safety in schools."
Gaines is also working with a company to design bulletproof plates that would be inserted into backpacks to protect students in the event of a mass shooting.