Uvalde parent to school district officials about police chief: “Why the hell does he still have a job with you?”

The grief of the May 24 shooting in which 21 people were killed at Robb Elementary clearly weighed on attendees, and some parents said their children were not ready to return to class.

“There is an anxiety in my heart that is only compounded by the fear of my children,” said mother-of-four Rachel Martinez. “I don’t think anyone here today can deny that there was a massive failure on May 24. The question is where are those failures.”

Monday’s meeting of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s board of trustees came a day after a Texas House investigative committee released a preliminary report outlining a series of law enforcement failures. in their response to the shooting.

The 77-page “interim report” describes “a nonchalant overall approach” of nearly 400 local, state and federal law enforcement officers who attended the school as the second-deadliest shootings ever occurred in a K-12 school in the United States occurred.

State authorities said Arredondo was the incident commander and blamed him for the disastrous law enforcement response, which was heavily criticized in part because it took more than an hour to the authorities to break into the classroom and kill the shooter.

But Arredondo, in an interview with the Texas Tribune last month, said he did not consider himself the incident commander.
Regardless, the lack of incident command was a key factor in law enforcement’s disastrous response, the report said, noting that others could have taken control.

The report comes after law enforcement was singled out, along with local officials alleging a lack of transparency and victims’ families learning piecemeal what more could have been done to save their loved ones .

Attendees Monday night pointed the finger at the board of directors in a meeting that lasted three hours.

Parent Brett Cross asked the board why Arredondo, who is on administrative leave, hasn’t been fired, demanding, “Why the hell does he still have a job with you?”

“If he’s not fired by noon tomorrow, then I want you and all of you board members to resign,” he said, “because y’all don’t care about our children or from us. Stay with us or against us, because we are going nowhere.”

The board will make a decision on Arredondo’s employment in a closed session, District Superintendent Hal Harrell said, adding that he awaits the report and its findings, which will be considered.

Several other speakers also called on the council to end Arredondo.

Young student says she wants to feel protected before going home

Tina Quintanilla-Taylor introduced her daughter Mehle, who told the council she wore the same dress she wore to school on May 24.

“That’s the last dress all my friends saw me in (sic),” she said. “Most of those kids were my friends…And I don’t want to go to your guys’ school if you don’t have protection.”

Martinez asked the board if he would take responsibility for the May 24 failures.

“Are you going to fix this?” she asked.

5 key takeaways from Uvalde shooting report and video revealing failures in law enforcement response

She wondered what options students and parents would have if they didn’t want to return to school, saying her daughter had said she was “so terrified” of going back to class.

“I can assure you that my children are not mentally prepared to return to campus and my husband and I do not want to send them. I speak for my children but I also speak for the rest of the parents in the community who feel the same thing that I.”

Jazmin Cazares, the sister of shooting victim Jackie Cazares and a high school student, said there was nothing that could be done to bring her sister back, but the school board could make changes to prevent other families from lose children. She also asked how safe she could feel.

“I’m going to be a senior. How am I supposed to come back to this school? What are you going to do to make sure I don’t have to watch my friends die,” she asked. “What are you going to do to make sure I don’t have to wait 77 minutes bleeding on my classroom floor like my little sister did?”

The next school year could be delayed

When asked if the district would consider online learning, Harrell said he was in discussion. “We’re thinking about it. And certain structures need to be in place. But yeah, we’re thinking about it and that’s one of the things we’re looking at.”

What we learned from Uvalde's filming video and what remains unknown

The school board also recommended a postponement of the start of the school year to address security issues such as door locks.

Some parents choose not to send their children away. Angel Garza, father of victim Amerie Jo Garza, said his son will not return but will be homeschooled.

“It’s hard for a parent to sit here and trust these people that they can drop their child off at school in the morning and they’ll be there to pick them up when they get off work,” said he told CNN.

In June, Harrell announced that no student would ever return to the site of the massacre.

“We will not be returning to this campus,” Harrell told a special board meeting, and added that he expects to have a new address for the school in “the very near future.” .

“Our children, our staff, we won’t be going back.”

CNN’s Dakin Andone contributed to this report.

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