KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) – A photo of a man standing guard outside a Killeen elementary school has gone viral on social media and the man seen in the image told KWTX he is doing it because he could not sleep after Tuesday’s devastating school massacre in Uvalde, Texas.
Ed Chelby said his daughter attends Saegert Elementary, where his wife is also a school nurse. Chelby said he wrote an email to the superintendent at Killeen ISD and asked for permission to stand guard at the school’s main entrance.
“I said I would just be out there unarmed to let people know that I’m watching. Let the parents have a little bit of relief,” Chelby said.
To his surprise, he was given permission and is now making sure anyone who walks through the front doors is supposed to be there.
“I can’t let this go,” said Chelby, “This is just a testament to the sleeplessness caused by the grief I experienced.”
With eleven years of U.S. Army experience and a background in security, Chelby said he didn’t sweat standing outside making sure the kids were safe.
He already filled out the paperwork to be a school volunteer and was in the middle of a background check when he was given permission to stand guard.
“I’ve had a lot of emotional people come up to me,” Chelby said, “They didn’t want to send their kids to school. They struggled with sending their kids to school. And I told them, I was like, ‘I got them.’”
Among those who appreciate Chelby’s efforts is Samantha Longfeather-Locke, the mother of a student at Saegert.
“Him standing in front of the school, that’s reassuring – feeling that we get to go home and see our families this summer,” said Longeather-Locke.
“The world needed to know what he was doing because I feel that, that’s sparking some sort of change to start,” the woman said when asked why she took the now-viral photo of the man.
She said he is providing the comfort everyone searching for in the wake of yet another mass shooting in Texas.
“We all struggle with that. You don’t know if you should send your kid to school. You want them to get their education and their experience of the last days of school, but you want to protect them with everything you got,” said Chelby.
Those interested in similar volunteer opportunities for next school year can get that information here, just look for the “volunteer application” section.
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