School Starts Tomorrow At Elementary School Across From Drive-By Shooting - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/16/06-Longview

School Starts Tomorrow At Elementary School Across From Drive-By Shooting

A tense start to the school year at an East Texas campus, just feet away from where violence erupted this week.   Classes start tomorrow at Longview's McClure Elementary, which is just across the street from the scene of one of six shootings since Sunday in South Longview.  

The attitude is in South Longview is definitely one of concern.  Parents say they are scared about the recent events going on in their neighborhood. In fact, most say tomorrow they are either going to walk their kids to school or drive them, but certainly not let them walk by themselves.  

Bullets holes are all that physically remain from Monday morning's drive-by shooting, but fear in the neighborhood is still very evident. That's because the shooting on Margo Street happened just yards away from the entrance to Jodie McClure Elementary.

While police have already started increasing patrols around the area, parents say they are scared for their children's safety, especially since the shooting happened around the time of day school would be starting.    

One parent, Mechele Carradine says, "what if the children were getting off the bus? In the morning, 8 o'clock, buses are running, you know, things like that are happening so that would be a problem, you know, cause the kids being all out and bullets don't have a name on them so they can strike anybody. It's just scary."

Jodie McClure Elementary principal says, "as far as concerned? No. Our concern again is to take care of the beginning of school and make sure that is everything is in place to welcome the students and have a good start so that we can handle the academics and I'm sure Chief McCaleb will handle the other."

Mayor Jay Dean says that anytime an incident like this happens in a neighborhood the city is extremely concerned, but when it happens near a school, that concern becomes even greater. He also says plans to increase the number of officers in the neighborhoods have now been put on a fast-track because of the shooting's proximity to the elementary school. 

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com.

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