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Following a Horrific School Shooting, Disney Journalists Stayed in Uvalde, Texas For a Whole Year

victims of robb elementary shooting
Credit: Disney/Good Morning America/Canva

Disney Publishing has a new book about the 2022 Uvalde, Texas, school shooting set for release in May 2024. The book gives a narrative based on 365 days, or one year, of reporting in Uvalde about the tragedy and its aftermath.

Remembering the victims of the Uvalde school shooting - Good Morning America

Credit: Disney/Good Morning America

A Horrific Tragedy in Texas That No One Saw Coming

On May 24, 2022, an 18-year-old gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. He opened fire in classroom 112, a fourth-grade classroom with mostly nine- and ten-year-old children under instruction from two educators. Though the scenario was an “active shooter” situation, it was mistakenly not treated as such, and it took hundreds of law enforcement officers who had gathered at the school more than 70 minutes to engage the shooter.

Uvalde school shooting

Credit: Surveillance Cameras/Austin-American Statesman

By that time, both teachers in classroom 112, as well as 19 fourth-grade students, had lost their lives at the vicious hands of the perpetrator, who had also shot and injured his grandmother before stealing her vehicle and crashing it into a barricade before entering the school.

Per Statista.com, the Uvalde tragedy is the second-worst school shooting in the country based on lives lost.

The DOJ Releases Its Findings

This week, the Department of Justice released the findings from its investigation into the shooting that took place nearly 20 months ago and into the response of law enforcement officers. According to the broadcast All Things Considered on January 18, 2024, the damning report found “cascading” failures before, during, and after the attack on the part of law enforcement.

What went wrong as police in Uvalde waited to breach classroom - Good Morning America

Credit: Disney/Good Morning America

“The report found what it called cascading failures of leadership, failures in tactics, failures in training and communication by law enforcement and other officials who responded to the shooting,” said NPR’s Ryan Lucas. “There isn’t really much of anything that went right in this response, in which you had 33 children and teachers trapped in classrooms with the shooter for more than 70 minutes while police waited outside in the hallways.”

ABC News Reporting: Journalists Who Stayed

When a tragedy befalls a community, naturally, news reporters and vans descend on the location, hoping to be the first to break a story, to share a photo, to get the interview.

But following that tragedy, reporters clear out, moving on to the next big thing. The story really does become “yesterday’s news.” Not so for the families of the victims. For them, the nightmare is not over, and Wednesday’s release of 500 pages of revelations only served to reopen the wounds that were only beginning the first semblances of healing.

I am suffering mentally,' Uvalde educator says after false blame in shooting aftermath: Exclusive - Good Morning America

Credit: Disney/Good Morning America

The story of the Uvalde school shooting didn’t become old news to ABC journalists, either, who were tasked with staying in the tiny town of just over 15,000 residents some 80 miles from San Antonio, Texas, for a year.

A Year of Reporting That Tells a Story of Hope and Resilience

Disney Publishing will debut a brand-new book, titled One Year in Uvalde: A Story of Hope and Resilience, in May 2024. The book is the final product that resulted from the dedicated and heartbreaking work of ABC journalists who didn’t leave the tiny town of Uvalde in the days following the tragedy. They stayed–for a whole year.

The book builds on a year of reporting by award-winning ABC journalists John Quinones and Maria Elena Salinas. The journalists spent the year talking with families, documenting their stories, and chronicling the ways in which the community is moving forward despite their grief.

The reporting, called Uvalde: 365, was a series by ABC News that was led by the Investigative Unit at the Disney-owned news organization. The investigative journalism that resulted from that year has already been featured across many of the programs and platforms owned by ABC News, including programs like Good Morning America and World News Tonight with David Muir.

Who are the Good Morning America anchors? | The US Sun

Credit: Disney/Good Morning America

According to The Associated Press, “the story’s richness is in the details,” and the details are many.

In Uvalde, families of the victims have left their children’s bedrooms untouched since May 24, 2022, finding it too painful to change anything. The book talks about details like a hairbrush that belonged to one of the victims, and as such, the mother can’t get rid of it. In another home, there’s a father who goes to his daughter’s grave every single night, just to talk to her.

one year in uvalde

Credit: Disney Publishing

Per Disney Publshing, One Year in Uvalde “synthesizes this year-long story into a timely, humane, and important look at a community’s activism and resiliency as it follows several families and residents while events continue to unfold in the community. The intimate, sensitive reporting of Quiñones, Salinas, and the ABC News team examines a specific time and place in American life, thereby highlighting challenges that we face as a nation.”

A Purchase With a Hopeful Cause

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the following charities that serve the Uvalde community:

The Uvalde CISD Moving Forward Foundation (https://UvaldeCISDMovingForward.org/)
The Uvalde Forever Fund of the Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country (www.CommunityFoundation.net)
Uvalde High School Athletic Department (https://Athletics.UCISD.net)

Pre-orders are now available for One Year in Uvalde, which debuts on May 7, 2024.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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