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Remembering Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia

Last Tuesday, seasoned educators Eva Mirales and Irma Garcia were winding down the 2021-22 school year, the first since the pandemic. Things seemed to get back to "normal." Classes were conducted in brick-and-mortar settings rather than virtual.

It was "footloose and fancy" day at Robb Elementary. Kids were encouraged to dress up and enjoy the third-to-last day of school. Certificates of achievement were given out by Ms. Mirales, who taught in the district for 17 years, and Ms. Garcia who was a teacher at Robb for 23 years.

Proud parents stopped by to cheer on their kids. Students posed for pictures, smiling broadly, proudly holding their certificates, dreaming of their bright futures ahead.

Ms. Mirales and Ms. Garcia

A couple hours later, Ms. Mirales' and Ms. Garcia's classroom whose walls were adorned with posters bearing inspirational sayings, colorful art work and math charts was converted into a horror zone. A madman with an assault weapon barged into the fourth-grade classroom, locked the door and began shooting - murdering the two teachers and 19 of their students.

Unfortunately, in recent years mass murder has occurred in places where Americans tend to gather: Churches, shopping centers, movie theaters, nightclubs, bars, and food stores. Wherever the location, it hurts.

But when mass murder happens where the most vulnerable are located, our schools, it seems to sting a little bit more.

A beaming Amerie Jo Garza received her A-B Honor Roll certificate bearing Ms. Garcia's and Ms. Mirales' names on May 24, 2022. A short while later, Amerie lost her life along with her teachers and 18 classmates.

Teachers have the most important jobs in the world. They dedicate their lives, as Ms. Mirales and Ms. Garcia did, to assisting tomorrow's nurses, mechanics, truckers, doctors, fire fighters, and teachers develop critical thinking, problem solving, team-building and artistic skills. In short, they help to mold and shape our future.

Teachers work in spaces that should be the safest of all: Places where kids should be able to grow, learn and develop safely. Unfortunately, our schools remain soft targets for maniacs like the one who converted an elementary school classroom into a killing field last Tuesday.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, approximately two million Americans fall victim to workplace violence each year. Homicide is the fourth leading cause of occupational death in the United States.

Please read the following article to learn the signs to look for. Help prevent the next school shooting before it happens:


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