Since the tragic Robb Elementary School shooting that took place in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, the community continues to brace exceedingly difficult aftereffects. After 19 students and two teachers died, altering the lives of their loved ones forever, countless Uvalde students now fear going back to school in September. 

As reported by the New York Times, Robb Elementary School is now permanently closed and will be demolished. Still, students are terrified of having to attend a nearby school just one mile away, which one parent says has “skinny,” unsafe fencing.

That is exactly the reason why many parents are instead opting to sign up their children for nearby private schools, or simply online classes. One Uvalde parent, Tina Quintanilla-Taylor explained, “Nobody feels safe going back to school” — and with good reason.

Another Uvalde parent Adán Martínez told Telemundo, “The children are very scared. My son and daughter don’t want to go to school.” Martínez’s son was deeply impacted after hearing the bullets during the shooting. The father continued to explain that although the school plans on having several police officers onsite, even his children fear that the police won’t really help them if a tragedy occurs.

Their lack of confidence in police makes sense: parents are now calling for the firing of school Police Chief Pete Arredondo after reports revealed that officers waited over an hour at the shooting before entering the room and taking action.

Back in June, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety Col. Steven McCraw called Arredondo and the police response a “failure.” 

Meanwhile, the families of the 21 victims are currently asking for a $27 billion settlement from the school district and police, citing a faulty response by police officers and improper safety protocols from the school.

For example, an investigation found that Robb Elementary School had doors left unlocked and an unsafe, low outside fence.

Going forward, the new school will have security cameras, taller fences and more police officers on campus. In fact, Gov. Greg Abbott explained that 30 state troopers will guard the school onsite. 

Several parents prefer their children to take online classes, such as Martínez, who believes his children won’t be able to learn anything if they constantly feel in fear of being there. Another Uvalde parent Oscar Orona told Telemundo that his child will “never stop thinking” about the shooting.