Fox 26 Houston / YouTube

An emotional moment was caught live on-air as a news reporter for Fox was on the scene of a high school shooting at East High School in Denver, Colorado. A student had shot two school administrators during a pat down, later taking his own life in an area not far from the school. Reporter Alicia Acuna was on the scene giving coverage when her teenage son, a student of the school, came over and hugged her. “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,” the reporter said as her son came over. As the two embraced, she could be heard saying to him, “I just need to finish this real quick, OK? You good?” As her son moved off camera, Acuna said, “I’m so sorry. There’s no way you would have let your kid walk by.” She appeared emotional, and another colleague offered to step in so she could be with her son. “He’s OK — he’s good,” she said. “He’s the one who was telling me what was happening, and my sister telling me what her daughter was telling her. This is a real weird thing, toddling between reporting and being a parent here.” She went on to complete her coverage.

Acuna’s handling of the situation was praised by most through social media. “So incredible – glad your son is OK,” wrote Matt Whitlock on Twitter, a Republican communications strategist. Another user wrote, “Alicia is a wonderful parent, an amazing reporter. Her entire message needs to be amplified for every school in America! Governors all need to put security back into schools. Immediately, if not sooner.” Some users took it as an opportunity to take a swipe at the reporter’s perceived political stance, with one user writing, “Still don’t want any common sense gun laws, Alicia?”

The board for Denver Public Schools had previously voted to remove all its resource officers from schools in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. However, after the incident at East High School, Superintendent Dr. Alex Marrero wrote a letter to the school board calling for a reinstatement of officers in Denver Public Schools. The board approved his request the next day, following a number of other schools that have reversed bans on police in schools. With the recent events of Nashville’s Covenant School being attacked by a transgender man, the discussion for how to keep schools protected continues in the public discourse. Progressives are calling for widespread gun bans, with President Biden calling on Congress to approve his assault weapons ban. On the other side of the aisle, conservatives are calling for more protective measures, such as arming teachers. Conservatives and progressives continue to clash on what are the best reforms, with the discussions often getting heated. 

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