UVALDE, Texas — Rob Elementary Principal Mindy Gutierrez was suspended with pay Monday, her attorney, Ricardo Cedillo, confirmed to ABC News.
A special legislative investigation into the May 24 massacre at the school found that Gutierrez knew about security problems before a shooter entered the school, killing 19 students and two teachers. , but it didn’t solve the problems.
District officials declined to discuss the suspension or what it means.
Gutierrez joins district Police Chief Pete Arredondo, who remains on unpaid administrative leave as the district moves forward with the process to fire him.
The chief has been singled out for a series of catastrophic failures to lead the police response to the massacre that ignored the possibility that children and teachers could have been saved if the teenage gunman had been confronted. He would have gone and neutralized him, as standard police protocol dictates.
News of Gutierrez’s suspension began circulating just before a regularly scheduled school board meeting Monday night.
During the session, the board announced that the 2022-23 school year will begin Sept. 6 as the district makes a series of security improvements and provisions for emotional and social support services.
Before officials announced their plans, the board was welcomed back by families of the shooting victims, as well as other community residents, after being upset by the behavior of district leaders since May 24.
“These parents are still hurting. And they want answers,” said Daniel Myers, a pastor.
Brett Cross, the father of Aziah Garcia, who was killed in the massacre, pointed to the board members, saying only one of those present had reached out to his family. He called for someone on the board to take responsibility for the failures that allowed the shooting to happen in the first place and how the district handled the aftermath.
“You care more about our children than your own lives,” Cross said. “Why haven’t you been held accountable for all of your shit yet? Can any of you look me dead in the eye and say, look, we messed up?”
In the end, board member Luis Fernandez admitted that “everyone messed up.”
“So, let’s recap: Two months later… nothing has changed,” Belinda Arreola said. “Once again we are banging our heads against a brick wall, demanding answers and accountability…getting nowhere because it’s always something.”
“I feel that no amount of security will ease our hearts and minds,” Tracy Byrd said, pointing to the loss of life despite the heavy law enforcement response. The board did not respond.
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