"This bad guy, he came into a school and he killed his mom and 20 people," says Emma Daugherty, a student at Wylie Elementary.
As the emotions were still raw, threats posted on social media earlier this week took it to a different level.
"Brought it very close to home knowing that there was an actual threat here in Abilene," explains Melanie LaCroix, a mother of a student at Wylie.
Those threats caused the Abilene police department to amp up security.
"We've had two or three police nearly every day," says Wylie Elementary Principal Debbie Lambert.
For some parents it's enough reassurance.
"We had a function this morning, there was a lot of parents here," recalls James Daugherty. "There was strong police presence. And it was a good time had by everybody."
Others still weren't sure what the best choice for their children was.
"I did think about do we keep her not or not," says LaCroix.
I was told by the principle that out of the 600 students who attend Wylie Elementary, 150 weren't here today. This time last year, there were only 50 absences.
For those whose children were present in school, the upcoming Christmas break was a big comfort.
"While they're going to school, ever since that incident, you get a bit nervous," says Roger Abalos, a father of a student. "So it's good that he's gonna be home for over a week and i won't have to do any worrying or anything."
The lesson that has surfaced is felt amongst all parents.
"You hold on to your children a whole lot tighter once you pick them up now. It's those little things you take for granted," says Abalos.
Although safety can never be guaranteed, with Abilene police keeping a close eye, we can all sleep a little better.