A concerned father in Killeen, Texas, is taking action into his own hands after the devastating massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. He now is standing guard at the elementary school where his wife works as a nurse and his daughter attends to ensure their last days of the school year can end safely, according to news outlet KBTX.
Ed Chelby was shaken after May 24, 2022, when 18-year-old gunman Salvador Rolando Ramos opened fire, fatally shooting nineteen students and two teachers, according to CNN.
“I can’t let this go,” said Chelby, according to the Independent. “This is just a testament to the sleeplessness caused by the grief I experienced.”
Chelby wrote an email to the Killeen Independent School District Superintendent, Dr. John Craft, requesting permission to stand outside in front of Saegert Elementary School’s main entrance for the last two days, KWTX reports.
“I humbly request to provide security services unarmed. I’ll be just in front of the school. I don’t wish to enter the school but I just want to be there for my kids. I want to be there for my wife, who is also an employee at that school,” Chelby said to KWKT.
“I said I would just be out there unarmed to let people know that I’m watching. Let the parents have a little bit of relief,” he said.
Chelby has 11 years of experience in the US Army and a background in security; he is accustomed to remaining alert at a post. Killeen is located about 175 miles northwest of the Uvalde shooting; an investigation of the terrible incident is ongoing, according to the Independent.
Chelby’s volunteer paperwork was filled out, and his background check was being processed, but the school district went ahead and permitted him.
His presence at the school’s campus tempered the fears of other parents.
“I had a lot of emotional people come up to me. They didn’t want to send their kids to school. They struggled with sending their kids to school and I told them, I was like, ‘I got them,’” Chelby told KWTX.
“You don’t know if you should send your kid to school,” Chelby said, according to the Independent. “You want them to get their education and their experience of the last days of school, but you want to protect them with everything you got.”
Another parent joined Chelby, a mother by the name of Constance, told him, “I got your back,” and she assumed the post of guarding the back of the elementary school.
“Him standing in front of the school, that’s reassuring – feeling that we get to go home and see our families this summer,” said parent Samantha Longfeather-Locke.