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STEM families look for alternatives to celebrate 4th of July

Posted at 6:26 PM, Jul 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-03 22:07:08-04

PARKER, Colo. -- Independence Day is known to be a time of celebration that people enjoy, but for the Wyse family, their celebration will be a bit modified this year.

"A couple of the things we’re doing is avoid the crowds," Laura Wyse said. "We’re going to a friend’s house and watch the fireworks there. Just don’t want to get trapped in case it becomes an issue."

The issue is that Laura's daughter, Ellie, is a STEM student and like many students from that community, she still has emotional wounds from the May 7 shooting where two students opened fire on their peers, killing one student and injuring eight others.

RELATED: Parker HOA asks neighborhood to give up 4th of July fireworks out of respect to STEM students

"She knew the people, the players that were involved and it’s really traumatic to go through that. She’s got a really good support system," Wyse said.

They also plan to bring a weighted blanket and noise canceling headphones to help make the celebration easier.

"We just want to get her back into being able to celebrate again," she said.

Wyse says other STEM parents also plan to use noise canceling headphones because it's tough after what the students went through.

"Saturday we were watching a movie as a family and a neighbor was setting off fireworks and it was a problem and just not knowing and being able to plan is tough," she added.

Much like a vet or someone else with PTSD, the noises and crowds can cause problems.

"You just want to fix it," Wyse said.

Which is why the Wyse family is taking simple steps to make the fourth still a time for celebration.

"The school’s been setting up some good systems, the church has set up good systems. She’s got some good people that love her," she said.

And hopefully the simple steps they take will help bring back Ellie's love for the Fourth of July.