CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Uvalde CISD students and staff will return to the classroom for the new school year on Tuesday, more than three months after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary.
Robb Elementary was closed after a gunman entered a 4th grade classroom and killed 19 students and two teachers on May 24. It happened during the last week of the 2021-2022 school year.
To show support for what is likely to be an emotional day, school districts across South Texas asked their students and staff to wear maroon on Tuesday.
Maroon is Uvalde CISD's school color. Seas of maroon have been spotted on school campuses Tuesday morning.
"We are all in this together. that community is so close to home for us," said Megan Butler, a fifth grade teacher at Sam Houston Elementary. "Literally and figuratively being an elementary school teacher."
Butler is going on her 11th year of being an educator and said no amount of experience could prepare them for the horrors that took place in Uvalde, or the aftermath that would follow.
"It's really important we do our part in showing support for that community. They went through an unthinkable tragedy last year," Butler said.
That's why campuses across South Texas are wearing maroon to show their support for the students, staff, and family who are returning back to school for the first time since the mass shooting that took the lives of two teachers and 19 fourth grade students.
"They had beautiful souls, all of them that passed away," said fourth grade student Joel. "I heard some of them protected their friends, the teachers protected them too, they were just nice."
Butler said it's hard to know which students of hers understand the gravity or the purpose behind wearing maroon Tuesday, but they did learn something from Uvalde.
"They understand the importance of keeping our doors locked, wearing ID badges, things like that," Butler said. "So even if they don't understand that specific tragedy they do understand the importance of safety around campus."
Sam Houston wasn't the only elementary school showing support for Uvalde. Other school districts across the Coastal Bend showed their support for the district.
"Our Odem Owls, staff, teachers, coaches and all employees show their support for all those at Uvalde CISD as they begin their new school year," Odem-Edroy ISD posted with a photo of students in a heart shape on their football field.
"This morning, students and staff all came together in our maroon gear to show our support for Uvalde CISD as they return to classes today. From all of us here at Flour Bluff ISD, we send our well wishes to the Uvalde community, and wish everyone a great year!"
"Thinking of the Uvalde CISD students, faculty, staff, administration, and school community on their first day of classes. Much love from Sinton ISD!" A post from Sinton ISD said.
The Uvalde CISD school board delayed the start of the school year to Sept. 6, giving families and the district more time to prepare following the tragedy.
Students who went to Robb Elementary will not be returning to that building but will be going to different schools in the area. The elementary is set to be demolished.
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