In the wake of the Connecticut elementary school shooting, East Texas parents said Friday that they felt confusion, empathy and concern.
Parents somewhat expect life to become more risky as their children get older, but “you don’t ever expect anything like this in elementary school,” he said.
Randall said he has confidence that school district leadership constantly evaluates situations to ensure the right thing is being done for students.
“I don’t know that you can really prepare a child for something like that,” Randall said. “So I think that the school kind of has to take the lead on that,” in that they have a plan and they implement that plan.
Varsherrie McMiller, 30, has a sixth-grader at Stewart Middle School. Ms. McMiller, a Tyler loan assistant, said she learned about the shooting later in the day, so she didn’t try to pull her child out of school.
But, she said, incidents like this make her want to see more security guards and policeman on campus to protect kids.
TISD parent Tonya McClelland, 39, who owns a Web development company, said that while the event is a tragedy, it is not something that sends her into a panic.
“It’s unfortunately reflective of the state of our nation,” Ms. McClelland, who has a second-grader and a non-school-age child, said. “It’s burdensome from that standpoint.”
But she didn’t see a relationship between what happened in Connecticut and Tyler.
Jennifer Carson, executive director for The Children’s Park of Tyler, empathized with the parents who lost a child in the shooting.
The Children’s Park maintains a park at 900 S. Broadway Ave., and the nonprofit exists to comfort parents who have lost a child and honor the memory of those children.
“Your whole life stops and changes direction in a second when you lose a child,” said Ms. Carson, who lost a son in 1999. “All your dreams are shattered. What you thought was normal isn’t normal anymore. Your perspective on everything changes. Everything changes.”
Religion writer Rebecca Hoeffner contributed to this report.