UVALDE, Texas – Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Oxford High School shooting, survivors showed their support to other victims of school shootings across the country.
Teachers and students from the Oakland County school departed from Detroit to San Antonio on Friday, Nov. 25. The goal was to help comfort the families in Uvalde, Texas and show them support after the slaughter that took place at Robb Elementary on May 24.
Zoe Touray, an 18-year-old who graduated from Oxford High School in May, has launched an initiative called Survivors Embracing Each Other, also known as S.E.E. Some of the events Touray organized for the Robb Elementary students in Uvalde included tie-dying shirts, indoor and outdoor games, therapy animal visits and food from local concessions in San Antonio.
“I’m looking to create an environment that empowers young survivors to openly share by providing a safe space that promotes a positive sense of belonging. I’m collaborating with youth mental health experts, education professionals, advocates and parents of survivors to ensure the S.E.E. Program offers meaningful, healthy encounters and encourages life-long relationships survivors can count on. Those are the ultimate goals,” Touray said.
“Americans should be outraged whenever the safety of school children is compromised, threatened or destroyed. America’s school children deserve to feel safe. I’m committed to making sure no other child feels as scared and helpless as I felt in November 2021. I thought that I may die. No child should be haunted with these feelings, especially little children.”
The Uvalde shooting happened six months after the Oxford High School shooting, and Oxford survivors found themselves reliving the experience all over again.
Nicole Barnett, a teacher who traveled to Texas for the program, told Local 4 that the mission is to make sure these kids know that they are not alone.
“It almost hit worse than our own, because we could feel it immediately,” Barnett said. “We wanted them to just feel the support from us. And even though it’s just a blanket, it’s not just a blanket to our kids. We want them to know we have someone, or we understand what they’re going through.”