Waco woman who grew up in Uvalde, attended Robb Elementary devastated: ‘just heartbreaking’

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 5:22 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - As the world has watched the details of the tragic events in Uvalde unfold, a Waco woman says each time she sees photos and videos from the town she gets an eerie feeling because both she and her brother attended Robb Elementary.

“It just hits so close to home when you see a school that you went to school in, you see the hallway, the devastation, all the people that are suffering,” Sami Harris said.

Harris, her brother, and both of her parents, all graduated from schools in Uvalde. Her parents still live in town.

“You always see people you know, hugging you, loving you, and want to know about you,” Harris said.

When shots rang out at Robb Elementary, Harris says phone calls and messages began pouring in from friends and family still living in the town she grew up in.

“I had talked to my parents and they said it was just a nightmare, a disaster,” Harris said. “There were helicopters everywhere, police flying through town and no one really knew what was going on.”

As she began to learn more about the scope of the devastation, she says her heart aches for the families who lost their children, for the community of Uvalde, the first responders, and the school staff.

“My fifth-grade teacher, she is an amazing person,” Harris said. “I feel like educators are so amazing and make such an impact on our kids’ lives, but she is now the counselor on that campus and my heart is just broken for her.”

She says her friends that now have children at Robb Elementary are scared to return to school.

“They asked to be homeschooled because they were in lockdown,” Harris said. “They are that age so they play tee-ball, soccer, and basketball with some of the kids in that classroom.”

Harris says her family frequently visits Uvalde and the incident is also taking a toll on them in Waco.

“My son had a hard time going back to school the last two days and honestly I had a hard time sending them,” she said.

She said the small town will never be the same.

“It’s a community that is so tight-knit, everybody knows everybody, and if you don’t know that person, you know someone who knows them or their family member,” Harris said.

“When it comes to a place that you actually went to school and that you were loved on by so many people and supported by so many people, t really becomes real. It’s just heartbreaking and devastating.”

Harris is planning a trip to Uvalde to show support for her friends, family, and community during this time.

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