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Local teachers share fears they face following Texas elementary school shooting

Posted at 6:46 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 09:55:02-04

MILWAUKEE — Two teachers in Uvalde, Texas died trying to shield their students from gunfire. We spoke with teachers in southeast Wisconsin about the very real fears they face every time they go to work.

“When my students walk through my classroom door, they’re my responsibility for eight plus hours,” said Tenia Fisher, a first-grade teacher at Greater Holy Temple Christian Academy in Milwaukee. “It is my duty to protect them and keep them safe. That is what I have to do. That is what those other two teachers did. They sacrificed their own lives and families and died with their students. Like, it is without question. Today, when I got to class, like so many days, I looked around the room and thought if something did happen, this is where I would try to hide the kids.”

The emotions are raw as teachers once again are on the front lines.

Educators are left trying to reassure students that they are safe in school, even as they have their own concerns and doubts.

Teachers we talked with say the most common question they get from kids right now is, “What if a bad guy gets in our building?”

WATCH: Elaine Rojas-Castillo reports on how teachers are reacting to safety concerns:

Texas shooting leads to renewed debates on school safety in Wisconsin

Active shooter drills have become just as common in schools as tornado and fire drills.

Long-time teachers of older grades say after each school shooting in America, they have noticed there are less questions from students, and the class is able to move on quicker. That concerns them.

“They are becoming desensitized by all of this,” said Kathy Koscielniak, who has taught in South Milwaukee for 39 years. “When I started teaching, the biggest concern was them getting hurt on the playground. Now, during the school day, I will think to myself, what would I do, or how would I react if there was a shooter? My fourth graders know I have two primary jobs – to teach them and to keep them safe. They trust me. They are like my own kids. I’ve been with them all year. We spend a lot of time together. Every teacher I know would do what those teachers did in Texas and step in.”

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