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Are East Texans concerned about safety in the upcoming school year?

The new school year is around the corner. So how are East Texans handling pressures surrounding school safety after the tragedy in Uvalde.

SMITH COUNTY, Texas — As many students approach their first day back in school, some parents might feel uneasy after the school shooting in Uvalde in May that killed 19 children and two adults.

The fear of going back to school and starting a new semester may be impacting some East Texans, especially after what happened in Uvalde. 

CBS 19 reported on May 27 that law enforcement officials in Uvalde said the gunman walked into the building though an unlocked door without being confronted by anyone.

One Tyler counselor said, generally speaking, it’s not the students in East Texas who are concerned about safety. 

So who’s more concerned, is it the students going back to school or is it the parents?

"So it's the parents who kind of have concerns of how things are going to be safe, even though it didn't happen in this area," said Marcus Wade, a licensed clinical social worker.

Octavio Tellez, a Whitehouse resident, who has two sons Diego and Javi, attending Whitehouse ISD and a wife who teaches for the district, is among those parents feeling worried. 

"I'm concerned," Tellez said. "I got three people who are closest to me in a school."

The Tellez family came from Mexico City, and he noticed school shootings are a mainly American problem. 

"That's what I am seeing," Tellez said. "We've never had a shooting in a school that I remember. Talking about crime in Mexico, I mean, it's pretty similar to a big city. But, why are those shootings happen here and there, why are in there happening in in little communities like Uvalde?"

More districts like Tyler ISD have voted to adopt the Guardian Plan, allowing teachers to get certified and carry a concealed handgun on campus. 

"We don't know where the next type of tragedy like this may happen," Wade said. "So the goal is to prepare for the things that we can prepare for. I think that's a hard transition to do with anybody that is a parent, or even an administrator or teacher in school."

Although Tellez doesn’t think arming teachers is the correct move, he’s grateful for Whitehouse ISD’s safety protocols. 

"We're very happy that they are in a wonderful school district," Tellez said. "That is the reason we're living in Whitehouse. We were looking for that school district."

RELATED: Cherokee County Sheriff's Office to help with school security

RELATED: Tyler ISD board approves Guardian Plan

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