Thomas Jefferson High School students returned to campus on Thursday after a shooting incident that left a student injured earlier this week. The incident occurred shortly after dismissal on Tuesday, with one student sustaining injuries to their arm. However, the student is expected to make a full recovery.
Following the shooting, administrators with Dallas Independent School District (DISD) canceled classes on Wednesday at both Thomas Jefferson and Walnut Hill International Leadership Academy to allow students to be with their families. During a press conference on Thursday morning, DISD identified three educators who played a critical role in the aftermath of the on-campus shooting. These heroes include head band director Bob Romano, athletic trainer Raul Velazquez, and assistant athletic director Brandi Elder.
According to Velazquez, he heard a loud bang and immediately rushed to help the injured student. “I walked outside of my clinic and saw that there’s a kid down, and I just went straight to him and rendered aid,” he said. Meanwhile, Romano, who was on afternoon duty in the parking lot, saw Velazquez running towards the incident and followed him. The student was already receiving help from a parent who had applied a tourniquet to the affected arm. Elder also joined the efforts to corral the students and keep them away from the scene.
Despite the traumatic incident, the educators showed their professionalism and dedication to their jobs. Velazquez went into “medical mode” to treat the student, while Romano called 911 and helped provide information until the student’s parents arrived. During Thursday’s press conference, Romano was visibly emotional as he spoke about the incident. “What we house in here is more precious than any money or gold or anything like that,” he said. “It’s not only our kids, it’s our hopes and our future and everything that’s in this building.”
The DISD administrators echoed Romano’s sentiments and said that they would like to see additional security measures put in place to prevent such incidents from happening in the future. However, they also acknowledged the importance of maintaining a balance between security and education. The schools will continue to offer counseling services to both students and staff in the wake of the incident.
In conclusion, the heroic efforts of these educators in the face of adversity have left a lasting impression on the students and staff of Thomas Jefferson High School. Their selflessness and commitment to duty have demonstrated the true essence of professionalism, and they serve as a reminder of the crucial role that educators play in our society.