At Spring High School students quietly stream inside. They pass by a group of parents, school board members and residents.
The group holds hands and stands near the flagpole. They lift their voices in prayer.
“Lord and we ask that today would be a blessed day for Spring High.”
The prayer is just one sign things are very different this week at Spring High since a student was fatally stabbed outside the cafeteria.
Security is another sign.
Instead of three police officers, there are more than 30 officers here from different law enforcement agencies.
Students have to use see-through backpacks. There also are metal detectors.
“I’m feeling kind of safe because we have more security.”
That’s Kevin Espinoza. He’s in ninth grade. He still doesn’t feel completely safe. He wonders if he should leave Spring High.
“I practically moved here just to be more safer in a safer school and, you know, it’s barely the second week, and there was already a stabbing. So, I don’t know if I could depend on this school anymore.”
Some students are already looking at other options, like Nicole Edwards. She almost didn’t come back.
“My dad had to drag me out of bed this morning. I did not want to be here.”
Many students felt the same way.
Only 60 percent of the 3,000 students enrolled at Spring attended classes Monday, according to the district.
Nicole says she’d feel safer if she went to school online.
“And I come to school to come to learn and get an education and better my future, not for people to die, I think it’s scary and sad.”
The Spring ISD Chief of Police Victor Mitchell is trying to allay those fears.
“We are going to reassure the parents and re-instill the confidence in our parents that we can maintain control of our schools. And believe our schools are safe schools and the safest place for students to be during the school hours.”
Mitchell says the metal detectors will stay on campus this week, but they won’t be a permanent fixture.
The school police are also investigating rumors of fights to retaliate against the stabbing incident.
With all the extra security, Spring School Board member Calvin Tang takes a practical view.
“Do you think the patting down, the scanning all of that at the airport, that it’s enough? That it stopped a lot of things? It stopped some things, right? Nothing is ever enough. But it matters that we are doing something to help improve the situation.”
Tang says it’s important not to live in fear and think that something bad might happen.
So he and his wife join the prayer circle. They pray for their daughter at Spring High and the rest of the students and staff.