A Uvalde principal has been placed on leave following allegations in a report about her failures during the Texas school shooting.
It has now been over two months since the horrific mass shooting that took the lives of 19 children and two teachers inside the Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. As more information continues being released to the public, it is now clearer than ever that adults in authoritative positions failed horribly in their duties to protect these students. Now that a new 77-page scathing report has been released, the Uvalde Principal that was in charge of the elementary school has been placed on administrative paid leave for her role in this failure.
According to reports from The Guardian, Mandy Gutierrez, the Uvalde elementary school principal, was placed on paid leave this past Monday, July 25th by the district’s superintendent. The administrator has been employed by the district for more than two decades, but this past school year was her first helming the school. While the district made no comment about why they were placing her on leave, the writing appears to be on the wall. Within the new detailed report, the information depicted how the principal had failed safety precautions that may have stopped the shooter from taking lives.
It has been known for quite some time now that the door to the classroom that the shooter was held up in was unlocked. At the time when the shooter was actively murdering children inside of that classroom, hundreds of police were said to have been searching for a key to open it, making the situation far more disastrous. Making matters worse, the detailed report that was recently released by the Texas state legislature revealed that the Uvalde principal knew for quite some time that the lock to that classroom door was broken, and failed to take necessary measures to get it fixed.
As this information is released, congress members continue to fight over what is the best way to protect students and staff from potential threats like this. Many call for better hardening of schools. This typically looks like more security, and changes to infrastructure that makes it harder for intruders to gain entry. But if the apparent failures of the Uvalde principal and the police have proven anything it’s that even the best intentions with added security and policies that require locked doors don’t always work the way they are written to.
The report confirmed what is on everyone’s mind. Within, it noted that if the door to the classroom had been locked, it at the least would have slowed the gunman’s assault for some added, possibly crucial, time. Still though, many fear that even above the alleged failures of the Uvalde principal, the response of the police was the biggest fault in the timeline of events. Just a few weeks ago, school surveillance footage was leaked to the public, which showed the more than hour-long wait time in which the shooter was actively taking lives inside the classroom, while 400 police officers stood idly by in the hallways doing nothing.
It is more transparent than ever that more than likely, the tragic event that took place on May 24th inside of the Robb Elementary School could have been prevented if the Uvalde principal had done her job correctly and if authorities had acted in a rightful manner. More information will continue to pour out to the media depicting the horrendous failure, but it does nothing to mend the hearts of the family and friends that still mourn the loss of 21 community members in the Texas town. For now, the district is taking measures to increase security at the school, and they have pushed back the start date of the 2022-2023 school year to September 6th.