Uvalde Children Return To Classes For The First Time Since School Shooting

For the first time, students returned to classes in Uvalde, Texas following the school massacre that claimed the lives of 21.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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Yesterday marked the first day Uvalde children returned to schools since an 18-year-old gunman entered the community’s Robb Elementary school to claim the lives of 19 young children and two teachers last May. While the beginning of a new school year is typically met with optimism and joy, students, parents, and educators lacked many of these emotions heading back into the classroom.  Many families won’t be sending their children back to public schools this year, but regardless, the first day of school was met with mixed emotions in Uvalde.

The families of those who lost children spoke out before the first day of school in Uvalde, describing how difficult it was to make it through a day knowing that their little ones tragically taken in the mass shooting would never get the chance to get ready for a first day of school again. According to NBC News, Steven Garcia, the father of Eliahna, a 9-year-old who was killed in the massacre, shared his heartache on social media early Tuesday morning. “Thinking of all the first days of school with my Ellie, no one expects to have to bury their child after leaving them at school!!” he wrote. 

Other parents who lost a child in the Uvalde shooting described how hard that day was not only because they had lost a piece of their heart, but also because they had to stay strong for their surviving children as they make the return to a new school year. Lexi, a slain student was survived by her parents, Kimberly and Felix Rubio, and five siblings. With the incident still fresh in her mind, Kimberly described how hard it was to meet her youngest son’s new teacher. “I don’t know that the school district has done everything that I’d like to see as far as security measures, but I also know it’s important for the kids to have some sort of routine, so trying to balance what’s best for them,” she asserted.

The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District made the decision to permanently shutter the doors of the Robb Elementary school following the violent incident. But even as some students that attended the school last year will begin a new year of education in a different building, the memories are embedded into their minds. What’s more, many families can’t help but be extremely cautious about security

Estera Ndayi had a child that attended Robb Elementary last year. This year, her two children will go to Dalton Elementary in Uvalde. Although there are concerns over how the children will cope as they continue to suffer from what happened, Ndayi remains positive and is hopeful that the added security measures will keep kids safe. “I’m on the positive side, so I hope what happened last year won’t happen again. For right now, I think they’re in good hands,” Ndayi said.

One PreK teacher, Belinda Ramirez remains favorably anxious for the school year to commence, hoping that a return to normalcy will help children struggling to cope. Her nephew attended Robb Elementary, and she admits that he has remained cautiously quiet about the incident. “Once we start, I think it will all get better. We all have to just continue to move forward,” she exclaimed. 


Schools across the state of Texas returned to campuses with a foreboding feeling this week. All around the state, students wore maroon, Robb Elementary’s school colors, on the first day in support of the Uvalde community.  Some children returned to schools that looked much different than last year, with added security measures such as tall fences. 

For families in Uvalde, Texas, and the rest of the nation, the notion of returning to school is changing. It is no longer simply a happy day marking the beginning of a new school journey. Today, parents and children have to worry more than ever about safety and hope that they can make it through a school year without tragedy.