The school board of Uvalde takes no action on closed-door shootings

The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District board of directors decided during a special meeting Friday not to take any action in response to the deadly mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in the south Texas city last week.

The board decided to hold a portion of its meeting behind closed doors while discussing the issues of the potential firing of employees like embattled school district police chief Pete Arredondo and other legal issues related to the May 24 shooting. No action was taken against Arredondo, who has been heavily criticized for decisions that may have prevented police from stopping gunman Salvador Ramos before he killed 19 children and two teachers and is calling for his resignation.

According to the meeting’s agenda, the non-public portion of Friday’s meeting allowed the board to “approve staff hiring, assignments, suspensions and terminations,” as well as “legal issues related to the events at Robb Elementary School,” and a resolution allowing the superintendent of the school district, Bob Harrell, to “act as the situation unfolds.”

Arredondo was criticized for choosing to call Ramos a “barricaded” subject rather than an “active shooter” during the shooting, crippling the police response, despite students making frantic 911 calls while they were with Ramos in one Classrooms were trapped – a move Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw called it a “wrong decision.”

Board meeting of the Uvalde Shooting School Pete Arredondo
The board of directors of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District decided Friday not to take any action against embattled police chief Pete Arredondo during a closed meeting. Wooden crosses, flowers and other items dedicated to victims of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School are pictured June 3, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.
Alex Wong/Getty

During an encounter with a CNN reporter on Wednesday, Arredondo dodged a question about McCraw’s remark, insisting that he would not respond to remain “respectful” of the victims’ families but that police would “eventually” explain their actions would.

Arredondo was not present at the school board meeting. Many Uvalde residents have called for Arredondo to quit or be fired, according to The Texas Tribune, saying lives could have been saved if he had made other decisions.

Only two parents spoke at Friday’s meeting, including Dawn Pointevent, who reportedly said her 7-year-old son is now “scared to death” to attend school. After the meeting, parent Angela Turner also spoke of her disappointment at the board’s refusal to dismiss Arredondo and not discuss school safety.

“We want answers about where the security will be,” Turner told reporters after the meeting. according to to CNN correspondent Shimon Prokupecz. “It was all a joke. I am so disappointed in our school district.”

Arredondo, who was elected to Uvalde City Council on May 7, deliberately kept largely out of the public eye after the shooting, becoming a “man in hiding”, according to the Tribune. Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin sworn him in behind closed doors as a member of the city council earlier this week.

news week contacted the school board for comment. The school board of Uvalde takes no action on closed-door shootings

Rick Schindler

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