Parents think about school safety after Texas shooter kills 19 children, 2 teachers

Florida lawmakers aim to prevent another tragedy like the Surfside building collapse. A

DORAL, Fla. – Tanya Carton was among the parents who dropped off their children at school Wednesday with a bit of apprehension. She is from Texas, so she wore a T-shirt to show her solidarity.

Carton was at Dr. Toni Bilbao Preparatory Academy in Doral, where the U.S. flag was flown at half-staff in memory of the 19 Robb Elementary School fourth-grade students in Uvalde.

Some parents worried about whether or not their kids’ schools had enough security to keep a shooter like Salvador Ramos away. Carton reasoned her son was safe.

“To enter the school, like you can only enter a small room, and on top of having a police force, we also have a security team as well,” Carton said.

Jose L. Dotres, the Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, said he understands the parents’ fears. He is the father of a 15-year-old student. He told reporters the district is one of the few in the country with a “self-contained” police force.

Edwin Lopez is the chief of The Miami-Dade Schools Police Department. He said the department’s command center has more than 18,000 live camera feeds under surveillance and more modern tech. They also have regular active-shooter training.

“Officers are equipt with the necessary skill sets ... We have a robust metal detection program. We have a robust K-9 unit with the ability to detect bombs and explosives, narcotics, firearms,” Lopez said.

There are no tips about copy cats after the Texas school shooting, but law enforcement is taking precautionary measures anyway in South Florida.

The district wants parents to know officers are on guard at schools, school administrators and teachers also receive active shooter training, doors are locked, and visitors are screened. Lopez asked parents to monitor their children’s use of social media.

Investigators believe Ramos, a Uvalde High School student who turned 18 years old on May 16, used social media to share photos of weapons and ammunition he bought legally. About 30 minutes before the shooting, he wrote about his intentions on social media.

Accounts on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook are part of the investigation.

The massacre appalled President Joe Biden and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. It also sickened advocates for gun control who lost their children during the 2018 Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

While standing next to her smiley son, Carton said she felt the grieving families’ pain.

“I am completely shocked and just so sad,” she said.

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An 18-year-old shooter killed 19 children and two teachers on Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas. (KSAT)
A state trooper escorts a group of family onto the campus of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Wednesday, May 25, 2022. Desperation turned to heart-wrenching sorrow for families of grade schoolers killed after an 18-year-old gunman barricaded himself in their Texas classroom and began shooting, killing at least 19 fourth-graders and their two teachers. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Two Texas Troopers light a candle at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Wednesday, May 25, 2022. Desperation turned to heart-wrenching sorrow for families of grade schoolers killed after an 18-year-old gunman barricaded himself in their Texas classroom and began shooting, killing several fourth-graders and their teachers. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
People mourn outside of the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. (Getty Images)
People become emotional at the City of Uvalde Town Square during a prayer vigil in the wake of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. According to reports, 19 students and 2 adults were killed before the gunman was fatally shot by law enforcement. (Photo by Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images) (Getty Images)
People react outside the Civic Center following a deadly school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
People react outside the Ssgt. Willie de Leon Civic Center in Uvalde, where students were transported from Robb Elementary School after a mass shooting on May 24, 2022. (Reuters/Marco Bello)
Investigators searching for motive in school shooting as Uvalde families grieve horrible tragedy

About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.