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School starts today for survivors of a deadly shooting in Uvalde

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — An ominous new school year begins Tuesday in Uvalde.

There are new high fences around public school campuses in the Texas community that are still unfinished, a heavy police patrol that many families don’t trust, and never again classes at Robb Elementary School, three months after a gunman with an AR-15-style rifle killed 19 children and two teachers in two adjacent fourth grade classrooms.

Ashley Morales is putting her son, Jeremiah, back in class – because she says she has no other choice as a single working mother. She will drop him off outside Uvalde Primary School on the first day. She says parents won’t be allowed inside.

“I’m just nervous, scared,” said Morales, whose son was in third grade last year at Robb Elementary and lost three friends in the May 24 massacre. At a recent “Meet the Teacher” party, she felt a surge of anxiety as she walked down the school hallway.

“Oh my God, this is really going to happen,” she said. “School is about to start.”

Although school already started weeks ago in many parts of Texas, officials have pushed back the first day of classes in Uvalde after a summer of unfathomable grief, anger and revelations of widespread failures by security forces. order that allowed an 18-year-old gunman to shoot inside. adjacent classrooms for more than 70 minutes.

Jalissa Ybarra (right), 9, was in the cafeteria at Robb Elementary when a gunman entered the school and opened fire, killing 19 students and 2 teachers. She battled nightmares in the months after the shooting and expressed nervousness about going back to school.

Sergio Flores for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Despite the postponement earlier this year, Uvalde school officials said several enhanced security measures remained incomplete, including the installation of additional cameras and new locks.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has pledged to put nearly three dozen state troopers on Uvalde campuses — but that doesn’t comfort some families because there were more than 90 state troopers at the scene of the attack.

More than 100 Uvalde families have signed up for the virtual school, while others have taken their children out of the district and enrolled them in private schools. A teacher who was shot in the abdomen and survived, Elsa Avila, will not greet students for the first time in 30 years as she is still recovering.

A damning report from a Texas House committee found nearly 400 total officers rushed to Robb Elementary after the shooting, but hesitated for more than an hour to confront the shooter. A body camera and surveillance footage showed heavily armed officers, some holding bulletproof shields, stacked in the hallway but not advancing towards the classroom.

Steve McCraw, head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, called the response “an abject failure.”

Last month, the Uvalde School Board fired District Police Chief Pete Arredondo, whom McCraw and the House Report accused of failing to take control of the scene and wasting time in looking for a key for a classroom door that was probably unlocked. The dismissal did not allay demands for others to be punished. Another officer – Lt. Uvalde Mariano Pargas, the acting police chief that day – was placed on administrative leave.

The Huffington Gt

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