WFISD superintendent Michael Kuhrt posted a letter on Monday, expressing his gratitude to the community of Wichita Falls for this response and support after the tragic shooting on Friday.

Kuhrt posted a copy of his letter to the WFISD Facebook page earlier today, thanking the community, first responders, crisis counselors, and everyone else for coming together quickly and effectively to make sure those affected by the horrible incident will thrive,

To: The Wichita Falls ISD Community

Re: A Statement of Gratitude

There seems to be so much tragedy in the the world today that I, at times, can become numb to the events. That is, until tragedy happens in your home, in your community, and to you family. I often refer to WFISD Staff as Team WFISD, but this weekend it has all been about family. The event that took place on Friday that cut short the previous life of Lauren Landavazo and forever altered the lives of MaKayla Smith, several other students that were present and their families, can only be described as tragic and senseless. The WFISD family is hurting, but we are beginning our recovery journey.

That journey has been made easier with the support of this wonderful community. The immediate response of support from our churches, other faith-based organizations, crisis counseling centers, and other public agencies has been overwhelming. As our students return to class on Tuesday, our wonderful teachers and staff members are ready to help them in all of the individual ways they will need to be helped. We will provide counseling support for student and will be referring families to agencies across our community. The individuals and groups that have organized fund raising efforts for the families have been impressive, and the generosity of this community has been equally amazing.

The love and support from our students for each other and for these families should confirm to this community that we are doing something right, and that this village truly has what it takes to raise a child. Their support for each other in times like this seems to be the best medicine. At the candlelight vigil Sunday evening, Mr. Landavazo encouraged us all to continue to live and continue to love just as Lauren did. I have a feeling that our students will cling to that message as they move forward.

Finally, my deepest gratitude goes out to Police Chief Manuel Borrego, the WFPD, Fire Chief Jon Reese, the WFFD, and all the other first responders in Wichita Falls. Their response was immediate and persistent. In the midst of the unknown, there was a calm across campuses Friday afternoon due to their presence.

Tuesday will be a difficult day for our students and staff. Wednesday will be better. Little by little we will heal, but we will never forget. Together we will live and we will love just as Lauren did.


Michael S. Kuhrt