'Makes me feel unsafe' Houston-area students still trying to make sense of Uvalde shooting

ByRoxanne Bustamante via KTRK logo
Friday, May 27, 2022
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Two University of Houston students say that they're afraid for their family members who are young students and are worried about going to school in the future in wake of Uvalde.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Like many people, students in the community are feeling mixed emotions in the wake of the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas

The horrific shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde claimed the lives of at least 19 children and two teachers and sent shock waves of grief throughout the community, nationwide, and around the world.

Angel Rodriguez, a student at the University of Houston, said he has family members who are younger students, including a fourth-grade cousin, and he worries about their safety.

"Everyone is just feeling frightened about the whole situation," Rodriguez said. "To all those parents who have kids in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, they have all the right to feel frightening."

While reeling from the news of this tragedy, University of Houston student Cruz Almonaci said she wants to know what going to school will look like for future generations.

"I also think, universities are supposed to open like this," Almonaci said. "They are supposed to be open to the public to join in, and it's just such a terrible thing that we now have to consider that. Closing off some opportunities and resources to the public in fear of people's lives. It makes me feel unsafe, but it also makes me question what will universities and schools look like if no gun reform is enacted?"

In a virtual roundtable discussion on Thursday, Dr. Jamie Freeny with Mental Health America of Greater Houston said the community is grieving with the victims and their families in Uvalde.

She said it's a difficult conversation, but parents must help their children process what is happening around them.

Dr. Freeny said the conversations and what images students are allowed to see should be tailored to the child's age.

"Understanding that it is our role to help mentor them and be emotional role models," Freeny said. "When we are expressing, and when we have those emotions, you don't have to hide them. Please share them with your children. Please share them with the young people in your life. And model how to share and cope with those emotions appropriately."

Both students mentioned said they plan to attend a rally hosted by several organizations, including FIEL Houston, on Friday at noon at Discovery Green.