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Educators respond to Uvalde massacre with anger, fear

Texas School Shooting
Posted at 10:07 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 12:54:44-04

"Ms. Valencia, what are we gonna do if this happens?"

It's a question students have asked Central Texas English teacher Janie Valencia in the face of a mass shooting in a school just hours away. She said she's seen enough tragedy happen in schools across the country.

"We should all be getting busy and doing something about it and stop pretending that it's not gonna happen again," she said.

The Texas State Teachers Association is calling for change as schools grapple with the horrifying events that took place on Tuesday in Uvalde.

"Everybody that works in a school, the day after this shooting, they were going in more vigilant, they were going in more scared," said TSTA president Ovidia Molina. "They were trying to figure out where the exits were, where they needed to blockade, where they needed to hide, how they could save their children."



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Images from Uvalde, where a gunman killed 21


Valencia is hoping to start a conversation about how to continue working to keep Central Texas schools safe.

"We need to discuss and calmly come to some type of agreement that will save our children and keep them from having to go through this," she said.

Education Service Center Region 12 provides professional development and training to educators across Central Texas, including crisis response training and counseling. Jeni Janek, a Region 12 education specialist and crisis response team leader, said in times of grief and tragedy, teachers, schools and parents have to work together.

"Our messaging needs to be really similar," Janek said. "And that's that you are cared for, it's our job to keep you safe, we're doing everything that we can, and we're learning more as we need to. And if those things need to be done differently or adjust, then that's what we're gonna do."

If you are a parent or teacher looking for resources, ESC Region 12 has information available on how to talk to children about the shooting and how educators can help support families and students.