Texas is likely to see its shortage of educators in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting, after teachers have already fled the profession at a high rate during the pandemic.

The teachers are reacting with horror and dismay to Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, which left as many as 19 children and two teachers dead. Now the ranks of teachers in Texas could further dwindle at a time when state officials are looking for ways to recruit and retain educators.

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Speaking to CNBC, Ovidia Molina, president of the Texas State Teachers Association said, “All of our educators are feeling it could be them.”

She said her organisation has been hearing from lifelong educators worried for their lives and their students. The longtime education professionals are considering walking away from teaching even after making it through the worst days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“We’re losing educators and new educators are not going to want to come into this chaos and know that they’re going to have trauma put on them,” Molina said.

“Educators are tired, not just from a pandemic, but from being attacked in how we teach and now from knowing that we can get killed by showing up to love our children,” she added.

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Before Tuesday’s tragic incident in Uvalde, a 2021 statewide poll of Texas teachers found that 68 percent are considering leaving the profession, up from 58 percent the previous year.

The poll also found teachers reported feeling undervalued by public officials and a higher degree of stress and other pandemic-related challenges.

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The same year, a report from the University of Houston and Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation found that pay has stagnated and nearly half of the teachers who started teaching in 2010 had left the profession by 2020.

Teachers in Texas have also clashed with legislators who’ve enacted controversial new laws restricting classroom discussions on race and other topics, while attempting to remove books about gender and sexuality.