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Santa Fe High School Shooting

Craig Wilems has already contemplated what he would do if someone with a gun opened fire inside Pasadena ISD’s Rick Schneider Middle School.

The fifth-grade science teacher said he would block the door to his class and try to shield his students from the spray of bullets. He said a recent spate of school shootings made him realize deserting his students to confront the gunman could do them more harm than good.

“My job is to protect the kids in my room. Some may call that cowardly, but they didn’t give me a bullet proof vest,” Wilems said. “I’m a teacher, not a soldier.”

A day after 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis allegedly killed 10 at Santa Fe High School, concerns over school safety and security were on the lips of parents, students and teachers gathered at a rally in Discovery Green Saturday.

  • Zoe Nansen, a student at Houston ISD's Carnegie Vanguard High School, and Sophie Cardenas, who attends the Houston High School for Visual and Performing Arts, spoke against gun violence at a rally organized by the Texas American Federation of Teachers on Saturday. The students, who both helped organize the March For Our Lives Houston in March, said the shooting at Santa Fe High School should be a wake-up call for state politicians to act. Photo: Shelby Webb
  • Sadie Baze becomes emotional at a community pot luck Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. Baze's daughter Shana Fisher, 16, was killed Friday in the Santa Fe High School shooting. Blaze said that shooting suspect Dimitrios Pagourtzis had been bulling her daughter and came to the school with the intent to kill her, and did. Photo: Steve Gonzales, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • Members of the community held a potluck dinner for the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. Photo: Steve Gonzales, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • Kelly Fisher pauses while her relative, Sadie Blaze behind her talks about Blaze's daughter Shana Fisher, 16, at a potluck dinner for the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. Blaze said that shooting suspect Dimitrios Pagourtzis had been bulling her daughter and came to the school with the intent to kill her, and did. Photo: Steve Gonzales, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • Bouquet of flowers sit among Galveston County Sheriff's crime scene tape as buses transporating people to retrive their belongings line up outside Santa Fe High School Saturday, May 19, 2018, one day after a mass shooting at the school left 10 people dead. Student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, has been charged with capital murder in the case. Photo: Melissa Phillip, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • April Salinas (second from right) looks at a memorial table with her children (l-r) Jeramiah Kelly, 12, Macee, 6, and Meah, 13 as members of the community came together for a potluck dinner for the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. Salinas grew up in Santa Fe and attended Santa Fe High. Her friend, Rosie, lost a son in the shooting Friday. Photo: Steve Gonzales, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • A young man came with flowers to a memorial table for the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. He could contain his emotions and received comfort before an event on the grounds of the Texas First Bank of Santa Fe. Photo: Steve Gonzales, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • Houston Lady Lion Club president-elect Lucy Gonzales, left, and communications director Sam Lamboy put on balloons, flowers and signs outside of Santa Fe High School to show support to the community on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • Lady Lions Club members Lucy Gonzales, of League City, left, and Sam Lamboy, of San Antonio, carry memorial items to be placed outside Santa Fe High School Saturday, May 19, 2018, one day after a mass shooting at the school left 10 people dead. Student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, has been charged with capital murder in the case. Photo: Melissa Phillip, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • Houston resident Carissa Potts takes her 7-year-old daughter, Kaylee Potts, to lay a stuffed animal and a dreamcatcher outside of Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. Potts said she does not know anyone living in Santa Fe but drove from Houston to show support to the community. The school shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday. Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • People leave from Santa Fe High School after retriving belongings from inside Saturday, May 19, 2018, one day after a mass shooting at the school left 10 people dead. Student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, has been charged with capital murder in the case. Photo: Melissa Phillip, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • Students and family are dropped off by buses outside of a Santa Fe High School buildling and about to go inside to collect their belongings on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday. Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • A student heads toward the shuttle bus after walking out of a Santa Fe High School buildling with her backpack on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday. Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • People embrace outside of Santa Fe Junior High School, as they wait for a buses to take them to Santa Fe High School to retrieve personal vehicles, following a mass shooting that left 10 people dead the previous day, Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. Photo: Jon Shapley, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • Students pick up their car at Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students were allowed to pick up their vehicles and belongings from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Photo: Jon Shapley, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • People embrace outside of Santa Fe Junior High School, following a mass shooting that left 10 people dead at Santa Fe High Schoolthe previous day, Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. Photo: Jon Shapley, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • People arrive at Santa Fe Junior High School, where they will take a bus to retrieve personal vehicles from Santa Fe High School, following a mass shooting that left 10 people dead the previous day, Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. Photo: Jon Shapley, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • People embrace outside of Santa Fe Junior High School, as they wait for a buses to take them to Santa Fe High School to retrieve personal vehicles, following a mass shooting that left 10 people dead the previous day, Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. Photo: Jon Shapley, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • A person is greeted with a hug after arriving to the Santa Fe High School by bus from the junior high campus to retrive belongings Saturday, May 19, 2018, one day after a mass shooting at the school left 10 people dead. Student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, has been charged with capital murder in the case. Photo: Melissa Phillip, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • Tori White, a junior at Santa Fe High School, wipes away tears while talking to the media outside of school about her experience from the Friday's shooting on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday. Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • Crime scene tapes remain on the parameter of Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday. Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • Santa Fe ISD Superintendent Dr. Leigh Wall talks during a press briefing at the Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday. Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • Law enforcement officials set up and get ready for students to pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon outside of Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • U.S. Rep. Randy Weber talks during a press briefing at the Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday. Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • Galveston County Judge Mike Henry talks during a press briefing at the Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday. Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • Santa Fe Mayor-Elect Jason Tabor talks during a press briefing outside of Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday. Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • Santa Fe ISD Police Chief Walter Braun talks during a press briefing at the Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday. Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle
  • Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, parents of Aurora shooting victim Jessi Ghawi, come to Santa Fe High School to show their support on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The Phillips were in San Antonio when they heard about the Santa Fe shooting that killed 10 people and injured another 10, and they decided to come over and hopfully to meet community memebrs and survivors. They have became gun-violence survivor and gun-regulation advocates since their daughter's death at the age of 24. Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle

Zoe Nansen, a student at Houston ISD’s Carnegie Vanguard High School, and Sophie Cardenas, who attends the Houston High School for Visual and Performing Arts, spoke against gun violence at a rally organized by the Texas American Federation of Teachers on Saturday. The students, who both helped organize the March For Our Lives Houston in March, said the shooting at Santa Fe High School should be a wake-up call for state politicians to act.
Zoe Nansen, a student at Houston ISD’s Carnegie Vanguard High School, and Sophie Cardenas, who attends the Houston High School for Visual and Performing Arts, spoke against gun violence at a rally organized by

Sadie Baze becomes emotional at a community pot luck Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. Baze’s daughter Shana Fisher, 16, was killed Friday in the Santa Fe High School shooting. Blaze said that shooting suspect Dimitrios Pagourtzis had been bulling her daughter and came to the school with the intent to kill her, and did.

Sadie Baze becomes emotional at a community pot luck Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. Baze’s daughter Shana Fisher, 16, was killed Friday in the Santa Fe High School shooting. Blaze said that shooting

Members of the community held a potluck dinner for the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe.
Members of the community held a potluck dinner for the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe.
Kelly Fisher pauses while her relative, Sadie Blaze behind her talks about Blaze’s daughter Shana Fisher, 16, at a potluck dinner for the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. Blaze said that shooting suspect Dimitrios Pagourtzis had been bulling her daughter and came to the school with the intent to kill her, and did.
Kelly Fisher pauses while her relative, Sadie Blaze behind her talks about Blaze’s daughter Shana Fisher, 16, at a potluck dinner for the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting Saturday, May 19, 2018, in
Bouquet of flowers sit among Galveston County Sheriff’s crime scene tape as buses transporating people to retrive their belongings line up outside Santa Fe High School Saturday, May 19, 2018, one day after a mass shooting at the school left 10 people dead. Student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, has been charged with capital murder in the case.
Bouquet of flowers sit among Galveston County Sheriff’s crime scene tape as buses transporating people to retrive their belongings line up outside Santa Fe High School Saturday, May 19, 2018, one day after a
April Salinas (second from right) looks at a memorial table with her children (l-r) Jeramiah Kelly, 12, Macee, 6, and Meah, 13 as members of the community came together for a potluck dinner for the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. Salinas grew up in Santa Fe and attended Santa Fe High. Her friend, Rosie, lost a son in the shooting Friday.
April Salinas (second from right) looks at a memorial table with her children (l-r) Jeramiah Kelly, 12, Macee, 6, and Meah, 13 as members of the community came together for a potluck dinner for the victims of
A young man came with flowers to a memorial table for the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. He could contain his emotions and received comfort before an event on the grounds of the Texas First Bank of Santa Fe.
A young man came with flowers to a memorial table for the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. He could contain his emotions and received comfort before an event on
Houston Lady Lion Club president-elect Lucy Gonzales, left, and communications director Sam Lamboy put on balloons, flowers and signs outside of Santa Fe High School to show support to the community on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10.
Houston Lady Lion Club president-elect Lucy Gonzales, left, and communications director Sam Lamboy put on balloons, flowers and signs outside of Santa Fe High School to show support to the community on
Lady Lions Club members Lucy Gonzales, of League City, left, and Sam Lamboy, of San Antonio, carry memorial items to be placed outside Santa Fe High School Saturday, May 19, 2018, one day after a mass shooting at the school left 10 people dead. Student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, has been charged with capital murder in the case.
Lady Lions Club members Lucy Gonzales, of League City, left, and Sam Lamboy, of San Antonio, carry memorial items to be placed outside Santa Fe High School Saturday, May 19, 2018, one day after a mass shooting
Houston resident Carissa Potts takes her 7-year-old daughter, Kaylee Potts, to lay a stuffed animal and a dreamcatcher outside of Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. Potts said she does not know anyone living in Santa Fe but drove from Houston to show support to the community. The school shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday.
Houston resident Carissa Potts takes her 7-year-old daughter, Kaylee Potts, to lay a stuffed animal and a dreamcatcher outside of Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. Potts said she does
People leave from Santa Fe High School after retriving belongings from inside Saturday, May 19, 2018, one day after a mass shooting at the school left 10 people dead. Student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, has been charged with capital murder in the case.
People leave from Santa Fe High School after retriving belongings from inside Saturday, May 19, 2018, one day after a mass shooting at the school left 10 people dead. Student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, has been
Students and family are dropped off by buses outside of a Santa Fe High School buildling and about to go inside to collect their belongings on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday.
Students and family are dropped off by buses outside of a Santa Fe High School buildling and about to go inside to collect their belongings on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed
A student heads toward the shuttle bus after walking out of a Santa Fe High School buildling with her backpack on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday.
A student heads toward the shuttle bus after walking out of a Santa Fe High School buildling with her backpack on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another
People embrace outside of Santa Fe Junior High School, as they wait for a buses to take them to Santa Fe High School to retrieve personal vehicles, following a mass shooting that left 10 people dead the previous day, Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe.
People embrace outside of Santa Fe Junior High School, as they wait for a buses to take them to Santa Fe High School to retrieve personal vehicles, following a mass shooting that left 10 people dead the
Students pick up their car at Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students were allowed to pick up their vehicles and belongings from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Students pick up their car at Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students were allowed to pick up their vehicles and
People embrace outside of Santa Fe Junior High School, following a mass shooting that left 10 people dead at Santa Fe High Schoolthe previous day, Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe.
People embrace outside of Santa Fe Junior High School, following a mass shooting that left 10 people dead at Santa Fe High Schoolthe previous day, Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe.
People arrive at Santa Fe Junior High School, where they will take a bus to retrieve personal vehicles from Santa Fe High School, following a mass shooting that left 10 people dead the previous day, Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe.
People arrive at Santa Fe Junior High School, where they will take a bus to retrieve personal vehicles from Santa Fe High School, following a mass shooting that left 10 people dead the previous day, Saturday,
People embrace outside of Santa Fe Junior High School, as they wait for a buses to take them to Santa Fe High School to retrieve personal vehicles, following a mass shooting that left 10 people dead the previous day, Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe.
People embrace outside of Santa Fe Junior High School, as they wait for a buses to take them to Santa Fe High School to retrieve personal vehicles, following a mass shooting that left 10 people dead the
A person is greeted with a hug after arriving to the Santa Fe High School by bus from the junior high campus to retrive belongings Saturday, May 19, 2018, one day after a mass shooting at the school left 10 people dead. Student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, has been charged with capital murder in the case.
A person is greeted with a hug after arriving to the Santa Fe High School by bus from the junior high campus to retrive belongings Saturday, May 19, 2018, one day after a mass shooting at the school left 10
Tori White, a junior at Santa Fe High School, wipes away tears while talking to the media outside of school about her experience from the Friday’s shooting on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday.
Tori White, a junior at Santa Fe High School, wipes away tears while talking to the media outside of school about her experience from the Friday’s shooting on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting
Crime scene tapes remain on the parameter of Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday.
Crime scene tapes remain on the parameter of Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles
Santa Fe ISD Superintendent Dr. Leigh Wall talks during a press briefing at the Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday.
Santa Fe ISD Superintendent Dr. Leigh Wall talks during a press briefing at the Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10.
Law enforcement officials set up and get ready for students to pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon outside of Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10.
Law enforcement officials set up and get ready for students to pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon outside of Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on
U.S. Rep. Randy Weber talks during a press briefing at the Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday.
U.S. Rep. Randy Weber talks during a press briefing at the Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up
Galveston County Judge Mike Henry talks during a press briefing at the Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday.
Galveston County Judge Mike Henry talks during a press briefing at the Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could
Santa Fe Mayor-Elect Jason Tabor talks during a press briefing outside of Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday.
Santa Fe Mayor-Elect Jason Tabor talks during a press briefing outside of Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students
Santa Fe ISD Police Chief Walter Braun talks during a press briefing at the Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students could pick up their vehicles and personal items begin at noon on Saturday.
Santa Fe ISD Police Chief Walter Braun talks during a press briefing at the Santa Fe High School on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The shooting on Friday killed 10 people and injured another 10. Students
Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, parents of Aurora shooting victim Jessi Ghawi, come to Santa Fe High School to show their support on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The Phillips were in San Antonio when they heard about the Santa Fe shooting that killed 10 people and injured another 10, and they decided to come over and hopfully to meet community memebrs and survivors. They have became gun-violence survivor and gun-regulation advocates since their daughter’s death at the age of 24.
Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, parents of Aurora shooting victim Jessi Ghawi, come to Santa Fe High School to show their support on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Santa Fe. The Phillips were in San Antonio when they

Schools around Houston, like in most other places nationwide, saw a spike in the number of threats and lockdowns after the Florida massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in February. Concerned parents flooded school board meetings and education officials’ inboxes to ask more be done to protect their students.

Some districts and law enforcement agencies have already acted. A day after the Parkland shooting, Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman tasked deputies with checking on schools in the Klein, Humble, Tomball and Cypress-Fairbanks school districts each day. Katy ISD’s Board of Education approved in April a three-year contract with Social Sentinel to screen public social media posts for threats against any of its 68 campuses. Before Parkland, Aldine ISD already installed metal detectors in each of its 76 schools, and students in grades 6 through 12 must be screened as they enter the campuses.

Still, education leaders and teacher union officials at Saturday’s rally, which the Texas American Federation of Teachers organized weeks before Friday’s shooting, said more must be done at the state level. Speakers told the crowd of more than 400 that public schools suffer a lack of funding from Austin and pleaded with elected officials to better fund school safety initiatives.

“These are children, and they’re not in some far away state or country, they’re not just somebody else’s kids or somebody else’s family,” said Zoe Nansen, a student at Houston ISD’s Carnegie Vanguard High School and an organizer of Houston Youth Walkout. “This is our community, these are our children, and they deserve the right to walk into classrooms to learn without the fear of being murdered.”

Some state politicians have pledged that prayers for those affected will be followed by action. Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday he would begin to hold “round-table” meetings to discuss guns and school safety next week.

Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Trustee John Ogletree Jr. said any pledges to secure schools must include the money to do so. Cash-strapped school districts would need more resources to pay for additional surveillance cameras, security devices and safety officers, he asked.

Sybil Hunter, a Houston ISD food service employee and union leader of Houston Educational Support Personnel, agreed.

“I can tell you right now what can be done – you can release some of those funds, send them to our schools so our kids can be safe,” Hunter told those gathered in Discovery Green, “so our local schools can get the things they need to put in their schools such as gates and metal detectors.”

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said the Santa Fe High School shooting presents voters with a moral imperative to act.

“Kids are more fearful of school shootings than they are hopeful for their futures,” Weingarten said. “We are at the crossroads here in our country. We are at the crossroads here in Texas. We have to decide what matters more — kids or the NRA.”

 

*8:38 p.m.: This story was updated to reflect that Zoe Nansen was an organizer for the Houston Youth Walkout, not March For Our Lives Houston.

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