Uvalde prepares for new school year after massacre

Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 7:25 AM EDT
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UVALDE, Texas (KSAT) - In just one week, students in Uvalde will head back to the classroom for the first time since their school year ended in tragedy.

For months, parents have been calling for safety and security changes.

That work has started, but it won’t be ready in time.

It’s a taste of what next week will hold, parents and their students walking in and out of Uvalde Elementary for Meet the Teacher Night on Tuesday.

“I’m a little more nervous than normal, but he’s got a good teacher,” said Angela Potter, the mom of two students.

Her son Lucas is going into third grade. He was at Robb Elementary on May 24 when the school shooting happened.

Angela Potter said she’ll have some fear sending him and his brother back next Tuesday.

“You don’t think it can happen to you, and then all of the sudden it does,” she said.

The Uvalde Elementary campus is partially enclosed by 8-foot tall, non-scalable perimeter fencing. Currently, there’s still a few holes that need to be filled.

It’s the same here at Dalton Elementary, but at Morales Junior High, no new fencing is in sight.

“I went to Morales yesterday, and they didn’t have anything improved over there that I saw. This morning we made him virtual,” said Anson Bills, father of three students at Uvalde schools.

According to the district’s website, fencing work has started on three of the eight campuses.

Uvalde High School will be measured, and a timeline made for when their fencing will be put up.

“I trust this fence. It’s the school board I don’t trust,” Bills said.

Meanwhile, the work on the secured vestibules at each campus is running significantly behind, according to superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell.

“We’ll have DPS (Department of Public Safety) officers assigned at each entry point when school begins,” Harrell said.

The district bought 500 security cameras.

They’re fully installed at the high school and started at Morales Middle School. There’s nowhere else, though.

“Again, work won’t be totally complete by Tuesday; however, we will continue this work until it is complete,” Harrell said.

With school around the corner, there’s some optimism about the work that’s been done and plenty of skepticism.

“Hopefully he can feel a little more safer,” Potter said of her son Lucas.

“If I have to pull him I will, and right now only thing I see is a fence,” Bills said.