BEAUMONT, Texas — School districts across Southeast Texas are announcing that they will have increased security on campuses after a Uvalde school shooting claimed the lives of at least 20 people, including 18 children.
Uvalde is approximately six hours and around 360 miles away from Beaumont. The population of Uvalde is 16,122 according to the 2020 census. That's slightly smaller than Nederland.
"The majority of our kids are at school," the Port Arthur Independent School told 12News in a statement Wednesday morning.
"We are taking our usual safety measures with PAISD PD present, campus security monitors, closed campuses (no public access-students only), and any visitors are screened from outside locked main entrances using security cameras and intercom systems, if they need to come to drop off a device or pick up a child," the statement said.
"We are all hands on deck as this is the last week of school and even more so tightening up security in response to the tragedy in Uvalde. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with Robb Elementary School, Uvalde CISD, and the community of Uvalde, TX," according to the statement.
Port Neches-Groves Independent School District officials released a statement saying area police departments from Port Neches and Groves will be "clearly visible" throughout the day Wednesday. Parents who have concerns are encouraged to reach out campus administrators.
District officials said the safety and security of staff, teachers and students is always a top priority.
Port Neches-Groves ISD officials also said they would keep the Uvalde community and Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District in their thoughts and prayers.
Nederland Independent School District officials also released a statement expressing their shock and sadness to hear about the Uvalde tragedy.
District officials said there will be an increased police presence across all Nederland ISD campuses. Parents with concerns are encouraged to contact campus administrators.
District officials said they are here to, "support our school community and those around us."
Bridge City Independent School District officials announced that, "in light of today's tragedy," there will be an increased presence of police on all district campuses on Wednesday. District counselors will be ready to help students with any concerns.
District officials said they were deeply saddened to hear about the Uvalde tragedy. Parents with concerns should feel free to reach out to campus administrators.
Little Cypress-Mauriceville Consolidated Independent School District officials expressed their feelings of profound loss for the Uvalde community. District officials said their, "hearts were broken," for those who lost loved ones and for those who are fearful and grieving.
Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD officials said they have asked for an increased police presence at all campuses on Wednesday. District officials said they are here to, "offer encouragement, information and support," and encouraged anyone with questions to reach out to campus administrators.
The Orange County Pct4 Constables Office said, "beds will be empty, lunchboxes will be useless, sneakers will lay in hallway, untouched and homes will never be the same." The law enforcement agency sent their deepest condolences to those affected by the Uvalde school shooting.
Constable Matt Ortego and his staff will join other law enforcement agencies to increase security at Orange County schools.
This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.
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