BEAUMONT, Texas — The mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday is at the top of everyone's mind.
Southeast Texas parents expressed to 12News the fear and worry they had while sending their children to school the following day.
With just two more days left of school, districts are still responding, even adding extra security.
Parents in Uvalde woke up to empty beds because their children were killed at school on Tuesday, a place where the only thing parents and children should be worried about is whether they get a good grade on their homework assignments.
“I can't even think about my day without thinking about is she going to be OK,” said Demetricia Holloway.
Holloway lost her daughter to gun violence and is now having to face those same fears for her grandchildren.
“You get to the point where you don't even want to send them to school because you're scared,” Holloway said.
Worried parents have been calling Beaumont ISD all morning after 19 children and two faculty members were killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.
“Are we going to have to worry about that at school? 7 years old and she has to worry about being shot. After a while, kids aren't going to want to go to school because they're afraid,” said grandmother Theresa Lewis.
“Thank God this didn't happen to us,” said Beaumont Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Shannon Allen. “Safety and security is always our number one priority, but when a tragedy like this one occurs, it makes you reevaluate all of your plans, all of your procedures, all of your protocols.”
Beaumont ISD already has security in place at schools, safety screenings with metal detectors, clear backpack policies, Crime Stoppers, alert systems monitoring what students are saying, and active shooter drills.
Even with two days of the school year left they are still responding.
“We are making certain, especially at the elementary level, that our public safety officers are there all day long," Allen said. “We have secured vestibules in our elementary campuses, so you can't just walk into the campus. We are dispatching additional personnel on-site.”
Southeast Texas parents and family members who've lost their loved ones are empathizing with the families in Uvalde.
“Where do we go from here,” Holloway said. “How do we find our way? We find our way through each other, through the community giving us a chance and allowing us to be able to be human and grieve.”
Another parent told 12News, “Keep on holding on to that man's hand because it hurts so bad.”
They say forgiveness, grief, and hope are what will help parents move forward.
“I still go back and forth. It's hard. All I can tell the parents is we are here, and we are praying for you and we know how you feel,” Lewis said.
Allen said educating children and having these discussions is important. The district sent out tips on how to do that and resources for faculty.
If you're a parent who has suffered a loss, or need support, Surviving Parents of Southeast Texas is a resource available to you.
You can contact the group Surviving Parents of Southeast Texas on its website, by phone at (409) 299- 9034, by email at SurvivingParentsofSETX@yahoo.com or on Facebook at Surviving Parents of Southeast Texas
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