UVALDE, Texas– Mandy Gutierrez, director of Robb Elementary, was suspended with salary Monday, her attorney Ricardo Cedillo confirmed to ABC News.
A special legal investigation into the May 24 massacre at the school found that Gutierrez was aware of security issues before a gunman broke into the school and killed 19 students and two teachers, but she had failed to fix the issues.
County officials declined to discuss the suspension or its significance.
Gutierrez joins District Police Commissioner Pete Arredondo, who remains on unpaid administrative leave while the district continues the process of his dismissal.
The chief has been singled out for a series of disastrous failures in leading the police response to the massacre, which ignored the possibility that children and teachers could be saved if the teenage gunman were confronted and neutralized, as standard police protocol dictates.
News of Gutierrez’s suspension began circulating shortly before a regularly scheduled school board meeting Monday night.
During the meeting, the board announced that the 2022-23 school year would begin September 6 as the district enacted a number of safety improvements and provisions for emotional and social support services.
Before officials announced their plans, the board was again greeted by family members of victims of the shooting, as well as other community residents who were concerned about the way county leaders have been acting since May 24.
“These parents are still hurt. And they want answers,” said Daniel Myers, a pastor.
Referring to board members, Brett Cross, father of Uziyah Garcia, who was killed in the massacre, said only one of those present had contacted his family. He called on someone on the board to take responsibility for mistakes that made the shooting possible in the first place and how the district dealt with the aftermath.
“They care more about themselves than our kids,” Cross said. “Why still haven’t you guys taken responsibility for your mess? Can any of you all look me straight in the eye and say, ‘Look, we screwed up?’”
Finally, board member Luis Fernandez admitted “that everyone screwed up”.
“So, let’s recap: Two months later … nothing has changed,” Belinda Arreola said. “We’re banging our heads against a brick wall once again, demanding answers and accountability … getting nowhere because it’s always something.”
“I have a feeling that no amount of security will still our hearts and minds,” Tracy Byrd said, noting the significant loss of life, despite the vigorous response from law enforcement. The board did not respond.
Copyright © 2022 ABC News Internet Ventures.
https://6abc.com/mandy-gutierrez-robb-elementary-mass-shooting-uvalde-texas/12073197/ Uvalde school district suspends Robb Elementary School principal Mandy Gutierrez