By Brooke Manuel, Skyline Desk Chief
ALPINE – Parents and students are experiencing some anxiety over fall classes resuming after the tragic school shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde.
The small town of Uvalde, Texas, was struck with tragedy May 24 when an 18-year-old shooter entered Robb Elementary School. Nineteen students and two teachers were fatally shot, and many others were left with critical injuries. It was the deadliest shooting at a Texas public school, thus, leaving parents and students across Texas overcome with anxiety.
Nearly three months later, students are returning to classes for the 2022-23 school year. Parents and students alike have had this summer break to ponder over the tragedy that occurred in Uvalde.
When asked about her feelings regarding classes resuming, SRSU student Karen Garcia mentioned seeing “back-to-school ads for clear backpacks” as a safety precaution in schools. The fact that precautions like these have to be put into place to keep students safe is heart-breaking. School should be a place where students’ feel safe, and out of harm’s way, but that is no longer the case. Garcia said that the upcoming semester is “nerve-wracking for so many reasons.” Her best advice to other students going into this new semester is to “take baby steps,” and “go into the semester with a clear head.”
United States Army Veteran, SRSU student, and Eagle Pass resident Miguel Chavez said, “the Uvalde shooting was by far one of the most insane things that has ever shaken us up here. I don’t even think Covid shook the town like the shooting did.”
“An act of pure sadism…of pure evil,” Chavez said.
When speaking of returning to class, Chavez said “school, for me, personally, was a place where I didn’t have to be the military guy. We would talk about English, Shakespeare, and all these non-military things. I didn’t have to be on guard.”
Chavez’s anxiety extends to his child, “The fear settled in like never before…Not only do I have to worry about me in school, but I have to worry about my kid going into a school and me never seeing him again.”
Chavez’s anxieties are the same as many parents, not only across Texas but likely across the nation.
Andrews, Texas resident Bethanie Mora, whose son started third grade last week, said,
“After the Uvalde shooting happened, I literally sat on the idea of home schooling him for two weeks…It is so scary thinking that something like that could actually happen. What if it happens in Andrews?”