Hectic return to classes for Bellaire HS students after shooting

There was tight security Thursday at Bellaire High School as students returned to class for the first time after a student was shot and killed in the school Tuesday.

Several police cars were parked outside the school throughout the day which started with security checks of each student’s backpack.

"It was kind of hectic because they made the kids wait in line in front of the school," said Evelyn Flores, a senior. "Making everybody tardy--it was just too much."

"Everyone was searching our bags," said Mattie Barrier, a senior. "It’s emotional."

Tight security caused some students to miss the start of classes on the first day back after Cesar Cortes, 19, was shot and killed in the school’s JROTC supply room.

"He was in my algebra class, and it’s just like weird to sit there and see his chair empty," said Barrier.

Students held a vigil during lunch break in his honor, wearing black ribbons in his memory, while police stayed close.

"And then having like 12 cops everywhere, and every corner I go to, there’s a cop," said Daniel Mangupli, a senior.

Some students were not satisfied with the security level, considering the fact that a student was shot inside the school two days prior.

"They didn’t even check our backpack thoroughly," said Flores. "It was just like a flashlight and go ahead. It was not secure enough. I can just say it was just for show."

"He checked my stuff completely," said Mangupli. "He’s like, what’s that? What’s this? But for my friends, they said they didn’t get searched really."

Students say normally there are no security checks or metal detectors at the school.

"They never check backpacks—only if you report someone," said Flores.

"Just walk in, go to class," said Mangupli, regarding usual the lack of security checks at the school.