UVALDE, Texas — Uvalde came out in force Tuesday to support parents as they faced the difficult first day of classes since the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary.
It was the delayed first day of the new school year for many in the grieving community. Signs posted in storefronts, on street corners and along the highways showed that these parents were not alone.
Angela Villescaz, founder of Fierce Madres in Uvalde, says many of the mothers in her group were on edge as the day approached.
"It’s hard for the parents, because of the fear and the insecurity and how it doesn’t seem like they did anything in those 90 days to show a sense of urgency," Villescaz said about the bureaucratic response to the Robb tragedy. "That’s like a slap in the face, that’s disrespectful. They didn’t rush to get those things up at every campus."
For one mother in particular, Villescaz says sending her kids off to school Tuesday morning was rough.
"Dropping your kids off... it just took you right back to May 24th for her, is how she described it to us," Villescaz said. "So that was pretty tough, but maybe tomorrow will be a little easier.”
Like many people in Uvalde right now, she hopes the safety plans the district has drawn up – including new fencing and a bolstered law enforcement presence – truly do make a difference and give parents the sense of security they are looking for. The district hired three new Uvalde CISD officers and dozens of DPS troopers will be on hand throughout the district this year.
"I do want there to be a huge focus on the hiring," Villescaz said. "I think that if we can change and break the culture in Uvalde, Texas and break the good-old -boy hiring and not running background checks, we maybe could’ve had a different outcome on May 24."
She says while there is a long road ahead and parents may still be on edge for a while, she never loses sight of the 21 precious lives that were lost.
"I think the ones on our minds the most today would be those that were closely connected to their friends that are never coming back.”