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Wichita teacher discusses impact from mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas

After a tragedy like this, it can be difficult for both teachers and students in classrooms across the country.
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 12:04 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The deadly mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas happened the day before many schools in Wichita dismissed for the summer. After a tragedy like this, it can be difficult for both teachers and students in classrooms across the country.

The devastation in Uvalde is the latest case of violence that has teachers thinking about worst-case scenarios. Among things to consider is how fast they can lock a door, where they can hide and how to protect their students while locked down with an active shooter.

Wichita Southeast High School teacher Mike Harris said while he feels safe in Wichita Public School buildings and thinks the district has excellent safety plans in place, the thoughts do cross his mind after tragedies like the mass shooting in south Texas.

“They’re on the minds of everyone. But the support system is in place and the people are committed to what they’re doing and have the tools in place that I personally don’t feel unsafe,” Harris said.

Even as educators continued to teach and protect their students Wednesday as if it was any other day, Uvalde was in their back of their minds on the final school day of the year for Kansas’ largest school district. Harris said the focus for him and fellow teachers across the country was to play a part of raising children to be contributing members of society and helping to keep them safe in that learning process.

“Every teacher I’ve had the chance to interact with cares about children and feels strongly the reason they do their job is because they believe in the value of education and they think schools are there to teach children and raise them to be part of society and will do anything to protect them,” Harris said.

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