Rachel Valles woke up one Monday morning with a sinking feeling in her stomach. A sick feeling that had kept her up most of the night. The night before she sent her son, Ethan, to her sister's house an hour away and thought she must have made the wrong decision. But that one choice could have saved his life.
Anderson walked into the San Bernardino school and followed sign-in protocol, but once he got to his wife's classroom, he shot and killed her without saying a word. He then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.
The family of Karen Smith, teacher killed today in SB school shooting shared these photos with me. They, of course, are heartbroken pic.twitter.com/ajUEkBuIWk
A nine-year-old male student, whose name has not been released, was injured during the attack and is now in stable condition. Eight-year-old student Jonathan Martinez was shot and later passed away. A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for his funeral.
New school pic of Jonathan Martinez, who had Williams syndrome, a genetic heart disorder. He was killed by gunman in class Monday @CBSLApic.twitter.com/Dy6d8yG8wR
Hours after the attack, children were reunited with their parents
One 9-year-old student, Marissa Perez, still had blood on her sweatshirt as she was reunited with her mom.
Elizabeth Barajas tried to comfort her frightened daughter. "I don't know what to tell her," she said as she held her daughter tightly and sobbed.
The threat is gone, but like many parents, Barajas is worried about how this traumatizing experience will impact her daughter.
"They can't just tell us your kids are fine," she said. "Obviously my kid is not fine. She witnessed what happened to her teacher and the other students..."
The school district superintendent, Dale Marsden, addressed this overwhelming concern from parents and urged them to be there for their children. "Be willing to listen to their story," he said. "and be willing to listen to their story multiple times."
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Valles and her son came to show their respects. "I'll miss them," Ethan said of his teacher and friend.
Valles remembers Smith as a teacher that went above and beyond for her son, Ethan. "He would come home excited, grabbed a book and started reading to me," Smith told Familyshare. "I was almost in tears!"
Smith was a huge blessing in her and her son's lives, she told FamilyShare.
"Words can't explain how heartbroken I am," Valles said about Smith. "You helped Ethan reach his reading goal [and] you always had high expectations for him."
Many schools have safety protocols for fires, storms, shootings and other emergencies. Call your local school district to find out what their procedures are, and make sure your child knows those rules so they can be prepared in case of an emergency. For other tips on keeping your child safe at school, visit Scholastic.com.