UVALDE, Texas – The new year started on high alert for Uvalde CISD.
Just before 3 p.m., Uvalde police received a call that a bald man dressed in black and carrying a backpack was entering a Dalton Elementary classroom.
Uvalde police and Texas DPS troopers responded to the school on the ground and with air assistance.
“We wanted to make sure that all classrooms, all restrooms, and portable buildings that are on scene were searched and to ensure that no one was hiding in any of those rooms,” said Uvalde PD Chief Daniel Rodriguez.
Chief Daniel Rodriguez says there’s no sign of forced entry into the school. He explained they’re taking these calls seriously and are ensuring kids are safe when they go back to school on Wednesday pic.twitter.com/UouQni9xh8— Leigh Waldman (@LeighWaldman) January 2, 2023
Aside from a teacher whose identity was confirmed with the district, no one was found anywhere on the campus.
Rodriguez said there was also no sign of forced entry on any of the campus buildings.
“Any call that has come in after post-May 24 is, you know, we take them serious, and we’re going to investigate as much as we can until we can’t anymore,” Rodriguez said.
After the all clear was given, Uvalde CISD released the following statement:
“On Monday, January 2, a school district holiday, the Dalton administration learned Uvalde Police Department received a report of a male subject wearing all black attempting to enter Dalton Elementary School. Uvalde Police Department Officers and Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers responded to the campus. Law enforcement searched the entire property and each classroom and found no evidence of anyone other than a teacher being in the building. We appreciate the swift action taken by both entities to address the report giving the all-clear for rooms and buildings.
“Upon review of camera footage, the individual was walking outside the fence and had left the property’s perimeter before the authorities arrived. The individual was not seen on camera footage on campus or entering a classroom. We are thankful this report was resolved without harming students or staff. We encourage community members, students, parents, and staff to report threats, inappropriate actions, or behaviors they witness immediately. This is one way we can all work together to keep our schools safe.”
Two weeks ago, the district gave a wrap-up of safety and security changes they’ve made to campuses over these past seven months.
According to the interim superintendent Gary Patterson, 79 security cameras were added to Dalton Elementary. The campus also has 6-foot-tall non-scalable fencing, and doors on the campus have been replaced.
However, despite these changes, parents are on edge.
“Just sick, sick to my stomach,” said Brett Cross, guardian of Uziyah Garcia.
After losing Uziyah, more than seven months ago at Robb Elementary, there is little that helps to reassure Cross.
“We relive this over and over because of incidences like this. You know, now it takes us right back to that day, and so it’s extremely scary,” Cross said.
Cross’ daughter was set to attend Dalton Elementary after the Christmas break ends Wednesday. Now his family is holding off.
“She can take some marks on her attendance for all I care because I would rather have her here than in case something happens,” Cross said. “After losing my son, I don’t feel like any of my kids are protected in school now, no matter what’s done.”
Cross said he feels that even though no intruder was found on Dalton’s campus, all UCISD campuses must be thoroughly checked before students and teachers return.
“I hope they make sure that every campus is secure because I have children at damn near every campus, and we have other family members that have kids at all the campuses and not even just for us, for all the kids in this community,” Cross said. “Nobody deserves to live like this and fear and to be scared and everything. So I hope that the police actually do their job this time.”
The district and the Uvalde police chief encourage anyone who sees something suspicious to say something immediately.