This story is part of a KXAN series of reports called “Stop Mass Shootings,” providing context and exploring solutions surrounding gun violence in the wake of the deadly Uvalde school shooting. We want our reports to be a resource for Texans, as well as for lawmakers who are convening a month after the events in Uvalde to discuss how the state should move forward. Explore all “Stop Mass Shootings” stories by clicking here.
UVALDE COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The state is providing a $295,562 grant to the Uvalde County Juvenile Probation Department to support programs and services for at-risk youth or kids struggling with emotional or behavioral issues at school.
This comes after an 18-year-old opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde in late May, killing 19 children and two teachers.
A Texas House committee report released in July found the school shooter had trouble in school, from experiencing bullying for his stutter as a fourth grader to recording more than 100 absences a year and failing grades by 2018. By the time he was 17, the gunman had only completed ninth grade and ended up dropping out after the pandemic.
The office of Gov. Greg Abbott explained the grant will go toward services for kids who need additional help beyond what school staff and districts can offer, attempting to keep them out of the justice system. The state also hopes the grant for the Uvalde community will “fill in service gaps for mental health care and wraparound family resources.”
Preventive services the grant will fund include weekly sessions with families and attendance check-ins with schools for youth enrolled in the program.
“A critical factor of this program is that it meets youth and family where they are — at school, home, or in an office setting,” said Uvalde Juvenile Probation Chief Marilou Ruiz in a statement. “We will use the wraparound care approach focused on the youth and family, with support throughout their three-to-four-month program involvement based on their level of risk and meeting their needs with the appropriate level of care.”
The Uvalde program is expected to serve 45 youth each year, guiding them through cognitive behavioral therapy and community-based counseling, the state said.
The grant funding from the state covers fiscal years 2023 and 2024.