Reporting Sean Bennett
VALLEY SPRINGS (CBS13) – Many heavy hearts walked into class Monday as students returned to school since hearing the news of their classmate’s arrest over the weekend.
The 12-year-old brother of Leila Fowler is now behind bars accused of her murder.
“It’s pretty scary cause I never knew that there was a killer walking around at the campus,” student Trevor Taylor said.
Students arrived back at Toyon Middle School for the first time since the 12-year-old’s arrest.
“No words to describe, like, the shock, like saying I went to that school with that kid,” said student Jahyda Souza.
The news is still unsettling to many students.
“I was really shocked, to give all that detail and everything to the cops and make that search. I was really shocked to wake up one morning and my dad runs into my room and says ‘Jahyda look on TV. Do you know this kid?’ Yeah,” said Souza.
Bus after bus dropped of students, but some parents made the trip to campus to make sure safety was a priority.
“I’m just glad I’m not at work right now, where I’m able to drop him off so I can be assurance for him,” parent Brian Taylor said.
The Calaveras Unified School District had crisis counselors on campus to help the students.
“We lost Leila. We’re still grieving over that loss and now lost another student. This has really taken a tragic turn and twist getting staff to be able to equip themselves to handle this on a personal level; but also be ready, be strong for kids. It’s a challenge but I have faith in our staff,” Superintendent Mark Campbell said.
School officials say grief counselors will be available to the students as long as they are needed.
“There’s going to be a lot of sad people; but there’s, like, help clinics they’re giving today for everyone who needs them,” said student Violeta Contreres.
The Campbell also says Fowler’s brother attended school for one day following the murder.