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Robb Elementary School once the site of activism for Mexican-Americans in Uvalde

Uvalde – The bloodbath at Robb Elementary School will probably be a everlasting half of the Uvalde neighborhood’s historical past. But earlier than the tragedy that left 19 college students and two lecturers useless in late May, it was a centerpiece for Mexican-Americans demanding equality in Uvalde.

The stunning bushes and playground outdoors the faculty might be credited to the Uvalde neighborhood again in the ‘60s.

Back then, the district denied requests for playgrounds and landscaping that were normal to the primarily white school, Dalton Elementary.

In response, a Robb Elementary teacher at the time, George Garza, took it upon himself to plant pecan trees and paid students a quarter to water the plants.

“Those were considered the schools for the Mexican-American, for the Mexicans. You know, that was the term back then, and just the resources, you know — there was never money available,” George’s son, Ronald Garza, stated.

The magnificence of the campus was only one problem stemming from the segregated colleges. Administrators and lecturers at Robb have been primarily white, instructing a majority of Spanish lessons, so Spanish-speaking dad and mom have been pissed off by the lack of illustration.


Ronald Garza, now a Uvalde County Commissioner representing Precinct 4, stated his father was a center man, passing alongside Spanish-speaking dad and mom’ calls for.

Ronald Garza stated the superintendent at the time felt his authority was threatened by Garza’s father’s relationship with the neighborhood.

Ultimately, the board voted 6-to-1 to not renew George Garza’s instructing contract. The lone dissenter was the solely Latino board member.

The resolution sparked activism inside the Uvalde neighborhood.

“The late Manuela Gonzalez, very active in our community, started chanting ‘walkout, walkout.’ The crowd kind of started chanting ‘walkout,’” Garza stated.

The subsequent day at college, practically 300 college students at Robb Elementary and a few from the highschool walked out, demanding extra Hispanic educators and directors.

Ronald Garza stated his father filed an unsuccessful lawsuit in opposition to the district, however modifications to the district did occur.


“That got the school district’s attention. They said, ‘Well, we need to hire a principal.’ So they — some people get promoted to assistant principal, counselors,” Garza stated.

Since then, the district has expanded employment alternatives for the individuals of Uvalde and created homegrown educators and directors, Ronald Garza stated.

Although the campus is now the site of the deadliest faculty capturing in Texas historical past, the story of Robb Elementary can’t be erased.

Garza stated the constructing has sentimental worth to him, however the future of the campus ought to concentrate on therapeutic the neighborhood.

“It’s not really about me. It’s about the families, you know, who lost their children there. And it should be about them. The school should be torn down. Maybe a nice memorial there or a nice park,” Garza stated.

The Uvalde faculty board introduced the future of the campus could be put up for neighborhood dialogue. The individuals KSAT spoke with round city stated they hope it’s reworked into a long-lasting memorial or a brand new neighborhood asset.


Maria Garcia stated the constructing’s presence is nothing greater than a reminder of a tragedy.

“I think that it would be a good thing to tear down the elementary, only because it’s, like, just a reminder for the families of the victims that passed away. As far as what to put on there, I don’t know. I just know that I know the families are, you know, still grieving, and it’s something that isn’t just going to be overnight,” Garcia stated.

Others, like Federico Salmanca, stated tearing down the constructing could be costly and pointless as a result of the location alone is haunting.

“Tearing it down is kind of extreme, I think. Unless they’re going to build a new school there, which I don’t see if that accomplishes anything, it’s still the same location,” Salmanca stated.

Deanna Sawyer stated she is unhappy that Uvalde will all the time be remembered for this bloodbath as an alternative of what makes the neighborhood nice. She stated she hopes the campus will flip into one thing that speaks to the magnificence of the Uvalde neighborhood.


“I just hope our community can come together and figure out how to move forward and make it a better place than it was before,” Sawyer stated.

Currently, the district has not arrange a method to collect neighborhood enter.

One factor is fore positive, no college students or lecturers will return to the campus.

Copyright 2022 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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