Appleton mother, educator talks about Texas shooting’s impact on children

Martha Arlart
Martha Arlart
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 11:11 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Even though the latest school shooting happened hundreds of miles away in another state, the tragedy hits close to home in many ways.

Reporter Casey Torres calls Texas home. As a Texan, she feels for the Uvalde community. A large portion of the community is Hispanic and it’s near the U.S. Mexico border.

In towns like Uvalde, community members are tight-knit. Closer to home, Torres spoke to a woman who isn’t a Texan, but still has strong connections to the unfortunate event.

“You plan for sick days. You plan for tests and you plan for students having disagreements in the playground... but you don’t think you’re ever going to need to plan for somebody to come into your school and taking lives,” Martha Arlart, an Appleton educator said. She was finishing up a field trip when she heard about the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas.

“I had to pause and really concentrate on being present for my students for the rest of the day and not let the news of here we go again uh...take over.”

Arlart said her biggest priority is to make students feel safe. She’s hyper-vigilant every day at school. Still, she wishes it didn’t have to be that way.

“...and it might not be happening at our schools right now, but there’s always that anxiousness of, could it happen here?”

At home, she cares for her two children. One is old enough to know something bad happened.

“As a mother, I expect to send my kid to school and learn about all of the subjects, but I also expect them to be safe.”

She plans on explaining the good and bad in the world to her son before bedtime Tuesday night while holding him close.

She said her district had an active shooter training early in the school year... and it was too much. She explained she felt she came out as a different person.

She can’t imagine what teachers who actually just went through that are feeling.

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