UVALDE, Texas – The Uvalde School District Board will meet Monday to discuss the retirement of Superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell.

The announcement of Harrell’s retirement came hours after Friday the district suspended the police department amid criticism of their response before the May 24 shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School.

In a statement shared on Facebook late Sunday night, Harrell wrote that “My decision to retire was not taken lightly and was made after much prayer and discernment. My wife and I love all of you and this community that we both grew up in, so this was a difficult decision for us. I have been blessed to work among wonderful faculty and staff who believe in education for over 30 years, all in our wonderful community. These next steps for our future come after much thought and are entirely my choice.”

The board will discuss the transition in a closed session Monday, but Harrell plans to stay with the district throughout the year until a new superintendent is named.

Meanwhile, the school district’s decision to suspend all police comes a day after it fired Crimson Elizondo, an officer hired by the Uvalde school district despite being under investigation for her conduct as a DPS trooper during massacres.

The duration of the suspension of the school district police department was not clear.

School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo was fired in August.

The fallout from the deadly shooting continues, but sports organizations have offered a variety of gestures over the past few months to help the community as it tries to heal.

On Saturday, the San Antonio Spurs held an open practice in support of elementary school students.

“It’s very sad,” San Antonio guard Tre Jones said. “We want everyone to be with us and be able to enjoy this moment. We are just trying to bring joy to the families and all the children who were friends with the children who died, and also to help the teachers. We want to bring a moment of happiness again in their lives and just try to put a smile on their face.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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