‘I am sad for our youth’: Lincoln leaders react to massacre in Uvalde, Texas

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – As Lincoln Public Schools students began their last day of school on Wednesday, city leaders reflected on the deadly shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

“I’m just sad for our youth,” Police Chief Teresa Ewins said. “Anywhere in this country, I am sad for our youth. They can’t be kids because this is what they have to live with. The fact that you have to think about this is astonishing to me.”

The superintendent of LPS also spoke, hoping to ease any anxiety among parents, staff and students.

“This shakes society to its core, whenever you have something that is this tragic,” Steve Joel said. “So there is always a period of adjustment, but if you were to be with me today with the two middle schools, you would have seen normalcy, you would have seen happy kids,

He said teachers were reminded to be vigilant, but it was still “a normal day.”

Moving forward, leaders said school safety continues to be the responsibility of all.

“If you or your child see or hear something that makes you feel unsafe, please contact Lincoln Police, a trusted staff member, or through the green Safe to Say button that appears very handily on our website,” Joel said.

It also lies on the shoulders of first responders to prepare for the worst, as all LPD officers take active shooter training.  School officials say, in today’s world, it’s not something they take lightly.

“Security has become a topic that we not only have to take very seriously, but we have to train for it, and accommodate for it,” Joel said. “Fortunately, with the Lincoln Police Department, we have come up with the most proactive way to approach ensuring that our schools are as safe as possible.”

Officials say it’s so important for parents and guardians to pay attention to their child’s behavior on social media. If you see something that concerns you, talk to them and reach out for help if you need to.

“I would ask the community, I would ask the parents to actually pay attention to your kid’s social media and see what they are being exposed to,” Ewins said. “Sometimes that’s more impactful than a conversation, and that’s sad to say. I didn’t have to deal with that growing up. Pretty much what my parents said was it. What they are seeing on social media is coming from across the country, if not abroad, and that is impacting our youth.”

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