Students in Uvalde, Texas went back to school on Tuesday morning, many of them re-entering classrooms for the first time since the mass shooting that claimed 21 lives at Robb Elementary School last May.
It was an emotional day for many in Uvalde, including, of course, the parents of the children who were killed at the school in the spring. One of those parents was Kimberly Garcia, whose daughter Amerie Jo Garza was among the students who lost their lives.
“You should be on your way to 5th grade today,” Ms Garcia wrote in a tweet. “It kills me that you won’t ever get to experience that. I don’t get to post back to school photos of you this morning. Instead I come visit you at your gravesite.”
Ms Garcia and her husband, Amerie’s stepfather Angel Garza, have been outspoken in the aftermath of their daughter’s death. The couple spoke to ABC’s Good Morning America in June about their frustration with the pace of the investigation into the ineffective law enforcement response to the shooting, as well as about their grief at losing their child.
“These people took an oath,” Ms Garcia told ABC of the law enforcement officers who responded to the shooting. “They took that oath to protect. And they didn’t do that. I feel like some of these kids could have been saved, but because they were in there for 77 minutes, we’ll never get to see them again. None of them, none of our kids, all those parents will never see their child, ever.”
ABC reported that Amerie attempted to call the police during the shooting, to no avail. She was an avid artist and a nurturing friend, as well as a fan of the band BTS. Since the shooting, Ms Garcia has used her Twitter account as a space to remember and mourn her daughter.
Parents in Uvalde have continued to push for accountability from local and state officials who oversaw the response that allowed the shooter to move freely through the school for more than an hour. The Uvalde school board fired school district police Chief Pete Arredondo in late August and have drawn up new security plans for district building, but a number of parents remain frustrated with the district’s response.
At a town hall last week, Uvalde school board trustees were unable to tell parents whether any of the district’s new security officers were part of the response to the shooting in May.