Centerville teachers, students remaining cautious as search for escaped inmate continues

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 9:22 PM CDT
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CENTERVILLE, Texas (KBTX) - Most teachers and students enjoy a weekday off of school, but that hasn’t been the case for many Friday. Classes for both Leon and Centerville ISD were canceled today as law enforcement continues to search for escaped inmate Gonzalo Lopez. Law enforcement advised residents to stay home and stay alert.

Centerville ISD teacher Jennifer West hasn’t left her home all day.

“I feel nervous, overwhelmed and very emotional,” Jennifer West said. “I’ve been in Centerville all of my life. We never had an experience like this before, and it makes you uneasy.”

The first-grade teacher said she was informed about the escaped inmate around 1:30 p.m. Thursday and her school immediately went into lockdown.

“We kept the kids as calm as possible then after school, we got everyone home safely,” Jennifer West said.

Centerville High School senior Shania West learned about the inmate’s escape towards the end of her school day.

“My mother actually called me and told me about the situation and then just like a minute later or so I got an Amber Alert, and then I got nervous, we went on lockdown,” Shania West said.

With the school closures, both are now unsure how the remainder of the school year will go. Shania West is set to graduate in two weeks, and next week is her last full week of classes. Jennifer West is retiring at the end of the month.

“I hope all of this comes to an end very soon and we can get back on with our lives.” West said.

West will be working this weekend but says she plans to keep her trips minimal outside of that.

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