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El Pasoans and the EPISD Family will do what we always do: come together.


EPISD Strong

Back to School is normally a time of excitement and joy for our district. This weekend, as many of our teachers were getting ready to return to work to start the 2019-20 school year, our community was confronted with the unimaginable. A mass shooting occurred in our beloved El Paso.  

On Saturday, as many of our parents and students were out shopping for school supplies, an outsider came into our city and carried out one of the deadliest attacks on our freedom and way of life.  In the end, 22 members of our community lost their lives and at least 26 others were injured at a Walmart that sits just blocks away from several EPISD campuses. 

This senseless act turned what is normally a time of new beginnings and anticipation into one of mourning. 

Today, when our campus personnel return to work to start the school year, they will be greeted by old friends and familiar faces.  Sadly, some of those people that mean so much to us will be facing unthinkable pain and sorrow.  We now know that the EPISD Family has been touched by this tragedy and that the victims of the attack were family members and friends of some of our students and employees.  

We as a District will support our employees and the community in their time of need. In times of tragedy, El Pasoans and the EPISD Family do what we always do: come together and pull through. 

Just hours after first responders first made it on the scene, EPISD employees — from police officers, custodians, cafeteria workers, counselors and MacArthur administrators working on Saturday — answered the call to provide services and help. This weekend EPISD opened its doors and hearts to the victims of the attacks. I want to particularly thank the MacArthur community for rallying behind the impacted families. EPISD makes me proud, but never more than this weekend when we worked around the clock to support those who were caring for the families. 

Over the next few days, as we prepare our schools to welcome our students back to class, I want to ask you to give one another an extra hug. Extend a helping hand to anyone who may need it.  Ask a stranger how they’re doing. 

Most importantly, seek help if you need it or guide students and adults to services if you feel they can use them.  In addition to our EPISD Counseling Staff, the following agencies are available to help: Emergence Healthcare Network at 799-1800, El Paso Center for Children at 565-5021, and the El Paso Behavioral Health Services at 521-2450

Together, we will grieve and persevere. After all, we are #EPISDProud and #ElPasoStrong.