Uvalde parents, students express fears, demand change ahead of new school year

A new report about the Uvalde shooting has led to new developments surrounding the upcoming school year.

Across the country, it’s almost time for students to start heading back to school.

In Uvalde, Texas -- that’s terrifying to some students and parents.

They’re still reeling from the murders of 19 children and two teachers at the end of last school year.

The district announced new security measures at Monday night’s school board meeting.

RELATED: Texas state police launch internal review of Uvalde response | Uvalde report takeaways: Massive response but little action

But many families say they aren’t enough because students and parents alike are afraid of the return to school

“Most of those kids were my friends,” student Mehle Quintanilla-Taylor said during a school board meeting of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District. “I don’t want to go to you guys’ school if you don’t have protection.”

His mother, Tina, said she complained twice to the board about school security.

Brett Cross, the father of 10-year-old Uziyah Garcia, who was killed in the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, was angry.

“We had people telling y’all that the doors didn’t lock, and y’all didn’t do a damn thing about it,” Cross said.

The district said it will erect an 8-foot, non-scalable fence around most of its schools. It said virtual learning is under consideration.

Many parents are demanding the termination of the school district police chief who was placed on leave last month.

“If he’s not fired by noon (Tuesday), then I want your resignation and every single one of you board members because y’all do not give a damn about our children or us,” Cross said during the meeting as the crowd cheered.

That anger at law enforcement extends far beyond the school board meeting.

“Our children were screaming in fear, and they did nothing but stand in the hallway and hear them,” said Leandra Vera, whose 10-year-old niece, Eliahana ‘Elijah’ Cruz Torres was killed in the attack.

And, amid that anger, the grief and fear continue.

“I sent Amerie to school that morning thinking I was going to pick her up that day,” said Angel Garza, father of 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza, another of the 19 victims.

“What are you going to do to make sure I don’t have to wait 77 minutes bleeding out on my classroom floor just like my little sister did?” said Jazmin Cazares, a rising senior, whose 9-year-old sister, Jackie, was also among the victims.