“I went to see my son and said to him, ‘They will hire more police. They will have higher fencing. And he didn’t have it.’
“He said, ‘I don’t care. They won’t protect us.’”
Zayon’s fears are not unfounded. Since his tragic demise last school year, the grief surrounding Uvalde, Texas has been compounded by anger.
Families who have already lost one child to the genocide now worry about sending the other child to school. And months of preparation by parents and school administrators are put to the test.
Robb Elementary School will not reopen
“We’re not going back to that campus,” Uvalde Unified Independent School District Superintendent Hal Harrell said in June.
Instead, the children who entered first grade last year at Robb Elementary School will begin second grade at Dalton Elementary School.
Last year, Rob’s second and third graders attended the new Uvalde Elementary School, which is located in the town’s existing educational facility. Many Robb Elementary School teachers transferred to Uvalde Elementary School.
Others have left the district altogether.
Enrollment at Uvalde’s Sacred Heart Catholic School has kicked off the new school year with double the number of primary school students since last fall, the principal said. Freshmen include her 30 from Robb Elementary School, who attends a private school on a scholarship.
All remaining students in the Uvalde Public School District were able to sign up for distance learning and use the tablets provided by the district.
Martinez said both of his children have opted for remote learning. “I spoke to my son and daughter and they said they were worried that if the same thing happened, they would not be protected,” he said.
“My daughter’s middle school doesn’t have fencing. There’s no way to convince her to go to a middle school that doesn’t have fencing.”
However, distance learning is not possible in some households where parents work outside the home.
And changing the landscape can’t erase the fear that plagues the families of the victims, especially those debating whether or not to send their other children back to school.
‘I don’t think my children are safe’
Ujiya Garcia should be in fifth grade today. However, he was shot dead in his classroom when he was 10 years old, leaving his family heartbroken.
Uzziah’s uncle, Brett Cross, who raised Uzziah like his own son, said, “This is what terrifies you every day and every night.
“I close my eyes. All I see is my son. I hear gunshots. It never goes away.”
However, Cross has four other children in the district. He is having trouble deciding whether to send them back to school directly.
“I want my children to have an education, but at the same time I’m afraid they won’t be able to make it through by the end of the day,” he said.
“We’ve already seen them not doing their job, so how are we supposed to trust that?” he said last week. “I don’t think my children are safe.”
Cross has two 15-year-old daughters who have decided to go straight back to school. He said they were old enough to make their own decisions under the guidance of his parents.
“But my children (ages 7 and 10) are … still unsure,” he said. “I can’t believe that everything was done to protect our children.”
However, he wants more active oversight of the school. “We have some demands on someone…seeing surveillance and stuff like that, a dedicated person,” he said. You will feel it.”
what the school district does
After months of public outcry, the Uvalde School District fired Police Chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo. State investigators and law enforcement analysts say Arredondo was the de facto incident commander on the day of the massacre.
The Uvalde School District also announced new safety measures planned for this school year. This also includes him hiring 10 school police officers. Installed 500 new security cameras. In Uvalde School District he has 33 Texas DPS officers. We are looking for a new Interim Police Chief.
The district also provides emotional support to students, including placing comfort dogs on all campuses during the first few weeks of school, adding school counselors, and providing trauma-informed care training to all staff members. also strengthened.
But Mr. Cross calls for more safety measures for all children, hoping that not only the surviving children but other family members will have to endure the pain he is suffering. He said he hasn’t stopped.
“I am fighting the system that has let him (Uziyah) down. I attend every city council meeting. I attend every school board meeting,” he said. rice field.
Cross also questions why an 18-year-old in Texas could buy an assault-style rifle like the one used to kill Uziyah.
“You have to be 21 to buy cigarettes and alcohol, which can kill you. But you have to be 18 to buy something that can kill multiple people. There is,’ he said.
“I now channel my grief into the fight, because this is the fight that everyone should be in. But nobody will be in until they are. And in your heart With this hole, it’s much harder to do on this side.” This fight. ”