EPISD back to school following mass shooting

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Going back to school can be tough for kids as they struggle to make friends, meet new teachers and deal with new classwork.

The first day of school might be even harder following the Aug. 3 mass shootin at an East El Paso Walmart. Parents can be fearful of sending their child to school and many kids aware of the situation fearful themselves.

Students will return to 83 El Paso Independent School District campuses Monday morning and the district is working to reassure parents about the safety of heir children.

“I want to reassure you that the security of our students and employees is our top priority. Simply said, we would not open our schools if we felt there was an imminent danger,” Gustavo Reveles Acosta with EPISD said.

The Socorro and Clint districts started school two weeks ago and students there had to go to be in class just two days after the mass shooting.

Students from Mountain View High School have advice for EPISD students about being there for your fellow classmates following their own experience last week.

“Just smile at everyone, be there for everyone, talk to everyone, just make their day. Say a comment, give them a positive day, a positive attitude,” said Ivette Castillo, a Mountain View High School Student.

“Stay strong. It wasn’t one of our own who did this. We are built on love and peace and I really truly believe that. Be there for one another and share the love,” Mountain View student Diana Sanchez said.

Some of that love is being spread as students from Terrace Hills Middle School will get new backpacks stuffed with school supplies that were donated from the Great Khalid Foundation on Monday morning. The project was founded by Grammy-nominated and El Paso native recording artist Khalid.

According to EPISD, students safety is their top priority. They are reassuring parents with elementary-aged kids that they have a secure entry mechanism that limits visitors to elementary schools to only those people who have business on campus.

“For years, EPISD has spent time and resources strengthening it’s security systems which include a full-fledged police department, updated camera and radio systems,” Reveles Acosta said.

Students start class bright and early Monday morning. Make sure to be aware of your surroundings while driving to work. Look out for kids crossing the road, slow down in school zones and look out for buses.

TxDOT wants to remind everyone that traffic fines double in school zones.

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