NIXON, Texas — Teachers and staff at Union Valley Christian Academy are feeling uneasy as they prepare to return to school Monday. They say someone broke into the school recently, and stole several computers.
Videos taken on a phone show cabinet doors thrown open and classroom furniture strewn about. Dona Ruiz is a kindergarten teacher at the school, and said she was heartbroken to find out an intruder broke into the school and the joining church, Union Valley Baptist Church.
"The immediate thing that I could just feel was violation," Ruiz said.
Ruiz was going through the school's Ring surveillance video when, around 6 a.m. Thursday, she said she noticed a man leaving the building. But staff believe they may have not acted alone.
"I immediately alerted the other teachers that I work with and we went right away," Ruiz said.
Teachers walked in and found the door kicked in and split in two pieces. They immediately called the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.
As they continued their search inside, they found their TVs, laptops and even food had been stolen.
"Down to our very Capri Sun that we had for our children," Ruiz said.
Ruiz has been a kindergarten teacher at the school for two years and says her daughter also attends. She said she is concerned about how she will explain to her students what happened. Whatever wasn't taken by the criminals, she said, was destroyed.
"It's another thing to go into a church where we worship every day and where we pray for those that need it the most," Ruiz said.
What’s also shocking, Ruiz said, is that it happened in the middle of a flood.
"Having to miss another day of school, not because of the weather, but this time because somebody was...just not in their right mind, and thought that it was OK to go in and take things that they didn't belong to them," she said.
Staff estimate the cost of damage and stolen items amounts to more than $10,000, but Ruiz said they took more than that.
"They took a child's sense of safety going to school," Ruiz said. "And that hurts a lot for a lot of us."
She said she is glad for the community’s support, and prays that those involved are held responsible.
"All you really have to do is just ask for help. And we are there, we will help you 100% and just don't do it again," Ruiz said.
A GoFundMe has been established to raise money for the school.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Wilson County Sheriff's Office at 830-393-2535.