‘I can’t let this go’: Father stands guard at daughter’s school in wake of mass shooting
KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX/Gray News) - A father in Texas is standing guard at an elementary school where his wife works and daughter attends in the wake of this week’s devasting elementary school mass shooting.
Ed Chelby said he is at Saegert Elementary because he could not sleep after Tuesday’s shooting in Uvalde, Texas. His daughter is a student, and his wife is also a school nurse.
KWTX reports Chelby wrote an email to the school district superintendent and asked for permission to stand guard at the school’s main entrance.
“I said I would just be out there unarmed to let people know that I’m watching. Let the parents have a little bit of relief,” Chelby said.
He was given permission and is making sure anyone who walks through the front doors is supposed to be there.
“I can’t let this go,” Chelby said. “This is just a testament to the sleeplessness caused by the grief I experienced.”
With 11 years of U.S. Army experience and a background in security, Chelby said he doesn’t sweat standing outside, making sure the kids were safe.
“I’ve had a lot of emotional people come up to me,” Chelby said, “They didn’t want to send their kids to school. They struggled with sending their kids to school. And I told them, I was like, ‘I got them.’”
He had already filled out the paperwork to be a school volunteer and was in the middle of a background check when he was given permission to stand guard.
Among those who appreciate Chelby’s efforts is Samantha Longfeather-Locke, the mother of a student at Saeger.
“Him standing in front of the school, it’s reassuring,” Longeather-Locke said.
She shared a photo of Chelby standing guard that has since gone viral. Longeather-Locke said that people needed to know what he was doing in providing the comfort everyone is currently searching for after another mass shooting.
“We all struggle with that. You don’t know if you should send your kid to school. You want them to get their education and their experience of the last days of school, but you want to protect them with everything you got,” Chelby said.
Those interested in similar volunteer opportunities for the next school year in the Killeen Independent School District can find more information here.
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