Oxford High School students, teachers visit San Antonio to connect with Uvalde shooting survivors

Students, teachers brought therapy dogs, games, crafts, food and blankets

Students and teachers from Oxford High School were in San Antonio Friday night on a special mission to connect with survivors of the Uvalde school at Robb Elementary.

Zoe Tourey is part of the group of Oxford students and teachers working since last summer to make the event happen.

They wanted to do something to comfort families in Uvalde the way the community supported them after the tragedy in Oxford.

Local 4 caught up with Tourey a few weeks ago while they were still raising money to get to Texas.

Nicole Barnett, a teacher at Oxford, helped make this happen.

“It almost hit worse than our own because we could feel it immediately,” said Barnett. “We wanted them to just feel the support from us. And even though it’s like just a blanket, it’s not just a blanket to our kids, and we want them to know like we have someone or we understand what they’re going through.”

Students and teachers brought all the same things to Texas that brought them comfort when they needed it most back home in Michigan, like therapy dogs, games, crafts, food, and blankets they’ve made over the last several months.

“Now that we’re going there, we’re hoping to not only offer that symbolism but be able to actually connect with these kids and know that you’re not alone,” Barnett said.

The trip is a healing event for everyone.

“It’s weird because being in the building, I still teach there, and I love when it’s full,” Barnett said. “Like when the kids are there, it feels like home, it feels like it should be, so I struggle more when it’s like no ones there. So I don’t know if it was like the silence at some point. I remember feeling almost naive like even though I heard everything, and I was in that hall in my classroom, it didn’t feel real. So sometimes it still doesn’t feel real.”

The timing is almost exactly one year after the Oxford High School shooting.

“I long for the day that I don’t think it for one day, and I have not had that,” Barnett said. “And I’m like an obnoxiously positive person. So and I’ve always been able to see like the silver lining. And I haven’t seen that yet. So I want that. So I think events like this give us purpose. And so if there’s anything that can come good out of our situation, I will do anything. So like, that’s the big takeaway for me personally. But so far, it gets better with time, but it hasn’t healed.”

About the Authors:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.