A boy from Uvalde shows exceptional resilience as he returns to school with a smile on his face and pictures of his slaughtered classmates on his chest | CNN

Uvalde, Texas

The final time AJ Martinez was in class was on Could 24, when he was shot within the thigh whereas hiding underneath backpacks whereas a gunman killed his two lecturers and 19 classmates at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas.

He noticed the gunman arrive in his classroom and heard him say “Good evening” to his trainer, earlier than unleashing a torrent of gunfire along with his assault rifle. AJ additionally heard regulation enforcement officers exterior within the hallways for the 77 minutes it took from the time the shooter entered the small city faculty to the time he left. ultimately confronted and killed.

AJ left faculty that day with another person’s blood on his face, most likely as a result of he was mendacity on the ground with the useless and injured. Since then, he’s unhappy, he’s indignant and he’s afraid. And he did loads of physiotherapy.

However when the brand new faculty 12 months began on Tuesday, AJ, now 10, approached with a large smile on his face.

AJ Martinez arrives for the first day of school in high spirits.

“I slept effectively,” he informed CNN, carrying a brown t-shirt with footage of his slain lecturers, Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia, and the 19 misplaced kids with the phrases “My lecturers and classmates ceaselessly”.

Robb Elementary is closed and its college students have been distributed to different establishments and digital colleges. The fourth-year graduates had been all the time prepared to maneuver, but it surely’s all the time tough.

“I am nervous as a result of I am not used to this faculty,” AJ conceded, his smile nonetheless sturdy.

It was her determination to return to high school in individual, her mom Kassandra Chavez stated. She walked beside him on the primary day and didn’t share her son’s dynamic outlook.

“I am simply nervous,” she stated. “I simply attempt to be there to help him. That is all I can (do).

AJ's mother, Kassandra Chavez, says she does her best to support AJ and her two other children.

Chavez wore an “Uvalde Robust” T-shirt honoring the victims and all these left behind. Most of the employees at AJ’s new faculty additionally had Robb Elementary brown and white.

AJ stated he wasn’t positive there can be any new pals at his new faculty, Flores Elementary. His smile light only for a second when requested concerning the youngsters on his shirt, those not going again to high school.

AJ is heading into his first day at Flores Elementary.

In July, his mom informed CNN of the recommendation she gave him when he turned indignant that he would by no means see his lecturers and classmates once more.

“You must be sturdy,” Chavez stated she would inform him, “as a result of that is what they need you to do. Keep in mind them, carry their legacy, as they might have you ever do.

So, proudly carrying their photos on his chest, AJ received prepared for varsity.

And with the joy and trepidation of any first day, he entered fifth grade.

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