East Texan's murder affecting next generation of teachers

By Reid Kerr - bioemail
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - When East Texas lost a teacher last week, the effect was felt by present and future teachers alike.

"It's definitely hard to hear, especially as a future teacher," UT Tyler senior Kendall Fox said. "You become aware of those things and situations that could happen."

The sudden death of Todd Henry led future teachers and their loved ones to question the profession.

"I called my husband and told him what happened," UT Tyler junior Marion Burns said, "and his first response was 'Well, you're not going to teach high school, right?'"

"If you're a firefighter, you probably expect to be scared when you go into work or if you're a police officer, you know you might not be coming back," UT Tyler junior Kara Milton said. "But as a teacher, you don't expect it to happen."

Education Professor Wes Hickey said for students, it's important to remember the way things normally are.

"Our school systems are one of the safest places for students to be," Dr. Hickey said. "we hear about and make such an issue out of tragedies like the one at John Tyler because they're so rare."

This last week inspired a lot of discussion, examination, and a renewed focus.

"Really, the purpose for what I want to do is affect kids' lives," Fox said, " especially kids with tough backgrounds."

"Some kids in every school system just fall through the cracks," Milton said. "I just want to make sure that doesn't happen. I still want to be a teacher, I can't wait to get my own classroom and pass on my knowledge to the kids."

While the incident scared them, it didn't seem to scare them off.

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