UVALDE, Texas – Mandy Gutierrez, the principal at Robb Elementary, was suspended Monday, her attorney, Ricardo Cedilla, confirmed to ABC News.
A special legislative investigation into the May 24 school shooting found that Gutierrez knew about security problems before a shooter entered the school, killing 19 students and two teachers, but she failed to address the problems.
District officials declined to discuss the suspension or what it means.
Gutierrez joins county Police Chief Pete Arredondo, who is still on unpaid administrative leave as the county moves forward with the process to fire him.
The chief was singled out for a series of catastrophic failures in leading the police response to the massacre, which ignored the possibility of saving children and teachers if the armed teenager had been confronted and neutralized, as standard police protocol dictates.
News of Gutierrez’s suspension began circulating just before the school board’s scheduled meeting Monday night.
During the session, the board announced that the 2022-23 school year will begin on Sept. 6 as the district implements a number of safety improvements and arranges for emotional and social support services.
Before officials announced their plans, the plaque was welcomed back by family members of the shooting victims, as well as other community residents concerned about how district leaders have acted since May 24.
“These parents are still hurting. And they want answers,” said Daniel Myers, the pastor.
Brett Cross, the father of Uzia Garcia, who died in the massacre, pointed to the board members, saying only one in attendance reached out to his family. He demanded that someone on the board take responsibility for the failures that allowed the shooting to happen in the first place and for how the district handled the aftermath.
“You care more about yourselves than our children,” Cross said. “Why have you still not taken responsibility for your mess? Can any of you look me dead in the eye and say, ‘Look, we messed up?'”
Finally, board member Luis Fernandez admitted that “everyone was wrong.”
“So let’s sum it up: Two months later … nothing has changed,” Belinda Arreola said. “We’re banging our heads against a brick wall again demanding answers and accountability… we’re not going anywhere because it’s always something.”
“I feel like no amount of security is going to ease our hearts and minds,” Tracy Byrd said, pointing to the significant loss of life despite the heavy-handed response by law enforcement. The board did not respond.
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