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First day back at school for Uvalde students, months after mass shooting

Uwald, Texas (Nexstar) – The new school year should be an exciting start for the Uwald community, but it’s a painful reminder for the families who lost their children in the May shooting.

Uvalde students returned to school on Tuesday – more than three months after a gunman shot and killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School days before summer vacation.

“If she could sit here now, like this, I could touch her, hug her, kiss her, tell her I love her,” said Alfred Garza, who lost his only daughter, Amerie. Jo, in the shooting. “I mean, it’s something I can’t have anymore, you know.”

We spoke to him in July.

“I just wanted to be remembered as a beautiful soul,” he said at the time.

The Uvalde Integrated Independent School District announced in June that the Robb Elementary School campus was closed. Students who would have taken courses there will be taught at other facilities in the district.

In late July, the district also delayed the start of the school year until after Labor Day to allow for safety upgrades on all campuses.

These improvements include improved door locks and increased state law enforcement in schools. In mid-August, Governor Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Department of Public Safety would provide more than 30 people on campus for the new school year.

New 8ft fences were also donated to schools in the district, but some parents said the extra security was not enough.

“So if we let them go, we don’t feel safe,” Adam Martinez said.

Her two children survived the shooting, but the scars remain.

“My kids are traumatized by this,” Martinez said.

Her children will start the new school year at home with virtual learning.

“I think if kids are scared, they’ll have a hard time learning,” Martinez said.

Some parents questioned whether the officers accused of failing to act quickly in the shooting still had a responsibility to keep schools safe.

The CISD Uvalde school board voted in late August to fire Pete Arredondo, who was the district’s police chief at the time of the shooting.

On Tuesday, the Texas School District showed its support for the Uvalde community by wearing the Uvalde CISD colors – brown and white. State Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio), who represents the area, also Social media post on Tuesday The public is invited to wear brown as a sign of solidarity.

“We will always remember the tragedy of May 24. Keep the victims, survivors and communities in your thoughts and prayers,” Gutierrez wrote.

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