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Mayor Turner to Lamar HS students: We are here and we are concerned about your safety

HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner met with a group of students at Lamar High School Tuesday, two weeks after a teen was shot near the campus.

A letter from a student regarding the shooting death of 18-year-old Delindsey Mack inspired the visit. 

During the meeting, Turner listened to student security concerns and discussed how the city is keeping them safe.

The mayor said the letter was from a student named Elizabeth Nelson-Fryar, and that he was moved by it. 

"I read the letter not one time; I read the letter several times. In fact, I kept the letter. Initially, I was going to write a response," Turner said. "It just seemed so inadequate to write a response."

[SCROLL DOWN TO READ THE FULL LETTER]

"Maybe my presence here at the school, where you can look at me and hear me and not just read a letter, will speak stronger, and will mean more," he said.

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A kind sign of love across from Lamar High School @kprc2

Posted by KPRC2 Ryan Korsgard on Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The student stated that she did not feel safe and she was losing hope.

"I would like to have everyone in schools feel safe. Rather that is the teachers the students, the staff. I think it's really important to not be afraid to go to school, to walk home," Nelson-Fryar said.

He said he wanted to reassure her and her fellow students that they should not lose hope. 

"What I wanted you to know and the rest of you is that we do care. And we do hear from you. And we are concerned about your safety. And we don't want you to be coming to school, being here doing school, leaving immediately after school and being concerned whether or not you're going to return home safely," Turner said.

Houston Police chief Art Acevedo was also in attendance.

"You're going to see Houston PD take on a larger role in some of our campuses to help them spread out their resources as well. That's going to be coming up immediately," Acevedo said.

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Mayor Turner meets with students at Lamar High School KPRC2 / Click2Houston

Posted by KPRC2 Ryan Korsgard on Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Nelson-Fryar's full letter to the mayor can be read below:

"Mayor Turner,

"My name is Elizabeth Nelson-Fryar. I am a seventeen-year-old high school student at Lamar High School. We are the second largest school in Houston and we need help. In five days, four of my classmates have been shot, three of them have died. We have had a shooter come onto our campus two years in a row. Today, a fellow senior was murdered during lunch on the street in front of my school.

"We were on lockdown for almost four hours. We have been through so much emotional and mental pain these past five days, and we need help from government officials like you to keep us safe. We cannot do this alone, and we cannot afford to waste any more time. The longer we wait, the more children will be killed. I am losing faith in our country, state, and beautiful city every time I walk into school and see our nation’s flag at half mast. I was at the student walkout at city hall last year where you spoke to us.

"You told us we needed change, we deserved change. Where is that change, sir? We waited. We waited, and more kids, our friends and peers, died because of the wait. This is not the world I want to live in. I will see to it that change is made, but I need, the youth of Houston, need you and our elected officials to protect us. 

"My mother is a teacher. My brother is in school to become a teacher. While I might be graduating this year, my family will be teaching in your public schools. I cannot and will not stand by and watch those I love get hurt. Please, Mayor Turner. Please help us." 

Best regards,

Elizabeth Nelson-Fryar"