“It’s been difficult,” Uvalde teacher explains what he went through since the deadly shooting months ago, the hardest part is yet to come

UVALDE, Tex. — To quote: Things have changed quite a bit for Mr. Arnulfo Reyes since he’s been living in Uvalde.

The man who used to teach fourth grade at Robb Elementary School doted on his brand-new Chihuahua puppy, which he named Zeus, on a Tuesday afternoon.

Reyes leaned back in his chair and examined the scar that ran down the length of his left arm.

It serves as a daily reminder of the ordeal he went through on May 24, during the shooting.

Reyes acknowledged that it had been a challenging experience.

His home is filled with images of his prior career as a teacher as well as motivational remarks for teachers. He is surrounded by silence.

According to Reyes, “the most difficult aspect right now is the continual reminders.”

The fourth-grade instructor at Robb Elementary advised his kids in room 111 to hide and pretend like they were sleeping as the mayhem at the school continued to unfold.

He wished for them to turn away so that they would not see what torments him on a regular basis.
The instructor was shot but managed to survive.

He was paralyzed and unable to move, so he listened and watched as his 11 students were executed on that particular day.

“These parents have suffered the loss of one kid, but I have suffered the loss of 11,” Reyes added.

They are referred to be his angels. It was one of the most enjoyable lessons he had ever been responsible for teaching.

Reyes said that the pupils in room 111 were a tight-knit group who were always looking out for one another and had a strong sense of community.

As he recounted several of the joyful times he had spent with the group, he couldn’t help but let his eyes light up. They expressed interest in having him continue instructing them into the following academic year.

They asked Mr. Reyes directly, “Mr. Reyes, are you able to teach fifth grade?” “We don’t want to be apart from you,” Reyes said me. “And I was thinking, no way am I going to be a fifth-grade teacher!” Reyes said with a grin on his face.

His eyes started to brim up with tears. He inhaled deeply and remained silent for a moment.

Reyes remarked that each of the dogs “had their own own little personalities… it was simply great to have them.”

He shared with WFAA that he is constantly thinking about and missing his students. It is tough for him to hear anything related to the back to school season.

“I can’t help but wonder… in that case, what would they be up to?” Reyes stated.

These distressing ideas are constantly running through his head. His anguish was compounded by the findings of investigations that pointed to inadequacies in the response of law enforcement.

Reyes expressed his concern by saying, “I don’t want them to die in vain and not be able to get justice.”

Reyes managed to survive, but his life will never be the same.

Reyes stated that on that day, not only did she lose a piece of herself, but she also lost “who she was.” “I’m not really sure where I am. I am completely at a loss about what to do with myself.

Every scar, every name, and the faces of his students painted onto murals located all around the city transport him back to the dreadful experience.

“The moment I step into a confined space, the first thing I do is search for the escape indicators,” Reyes explained. “I don’t like to feel like I’m confined.”

He is working very hard to get past the trauma and the survivor’s guilt, but he is taking things one day at a time.

They put their faith in me. Absolutely, and I guess that’s why I have such a hard time with everything; they trusted me to save them, and I let them down. ” those were Reyes’ exact words.

That is the kind of thing that runs through his mind every time he goes to bed.

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