Dickinson ISD art teacher creates drawing to give the Santa Fe community comfort

DICKINSON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Santa Fe High School shooting prompted an art teacher to grab a pencil for comfort, not realizing it was her sketch that would bring relief to many others.

As an art teacher, Laura Doherty has created a lot of work, but there's one piece she's especially proud of.

"I never imagined that a piece of my artwork could go this far, and have this kind of impact," Doherty said.

Hours after the Santa Fe shooting, she turned to paper.

"Using art as therapy, basically, I started drawing this," Doherty said.

She posted the image to social media, and it quickly gained nearly 1,000 shares.

"To know that it was comforting people and symbolizing the solidarity between other communities and Santa Fe was very humbling," Doherty said.

The drawing features branches for each victim.

She etched the words "Pray for Santa Fe" in the tree.

Doherty also included the schools' mascots.

"It's the Dickinson gator, that's our mascot, and he's comforting the Santa Fe Indian," Doherty said.

The only hard part was making another.

Originally, the drawing included eight branches.

After the death toll climbed to 10, she drew another.

This time, including the initials of each victim.

"Having to read their names and read their story, I was very overcome with emotion," Doherty said.

So were her sixth grade students.

"I just gave them watercolor and poster board and let them have free reign about what they wanted to do," Doherty said.

The end result left her overcome with emotion as they created images showing solidarity with Santa Fe students.

"I mean, it's amazing," Doherty said. "Anytime they do anything, I think they're just so great. I'm so proud and amazed at what they can accomplish."

These drawings can show the community the good that can come out of evil.

"If the families do see it, as part of Gator nation, I hope they know we're there for them," Doherty said.

No rivalries -- just love, support and images of comfort, Doherty said.

Follow Nick Natario on Facebook and Twitter.
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.