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The principal of the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school where an 18-year-old gunman went on a shooting rampage, killing 19 children and two adults, was suspended Monday, Fox News Digital confirmed.
Mandy Gutierrez, the principal of Robb Elementary School at the time of the May 24 mass shooting, was placed on administrative leave with pay on Monday by Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Hal Harrell, Ricardo Cedillo, an attorney representing Gutierrez, told Fox News Digital.
Cedillo did not elaborate further in his emailed response on the circumstances of the suspension. Gutierrez is the second school district employee placed on leave since the shooting.
Amid widespread scrutiny over law enforcement response, Uvalde Schools Police Chief Pete Arredondo was placed on unpaid administrative leave in June. A special board meeting to consider his firing was scheduled for Saturday morning, but the school district announced in a statement on Friday that it was canceled per the request of his attorney and will be held at a later date, which has not yet been determined.
TEXAS OFFICIAL: UVALDE CLASSROOM DOOR UNLOCKED DURING SHOOTING AS OFFICERS WAITED FOR KEYS: ‘ABJECT FAILURE’
In a 77-page report released earlier this month, a Texas House of Representatives investigate committee outlined “systemic failures and egregiously poor decision-making” that contributed to the tragedy.
“The school’s five-foot tall exterior fence was inadequate to meaningfully impede an intruder. While the school had adopted security policies to lock exterior doors and internal classroom doors, there was a regrettable culture of noncompliance by school personnel who frequently propped doors open and deliberately circumvented locks,” according to the report. “At a minimum, school administrators and school district police tacitly condoned this behavior as they were aware of these unsafe practices and did not treat them as serious infractions requiring immediate correction.”
“In fact, the school actually suggested circumventing the locks as a solution for the convenience of substitute teachers and others who lacked their own keys,” the report added.
In addition to suspending the principal, the district school board also agreed to push back the start of the school year for three weeks until Sept. 6, so officials can repair classrooms and other resources.
Gutierrez has worked for the school district for two decades, starting in 2008 as a fourth-grade teacher. She became an assistant principal in 2008 and later became principal in 2021.
The report notes that both Gutierrez and her assistant had known about problems securing the lock for Room 111 – believed to be the classroom 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos entered to carry out his rampage – since around spring break, but a work order was never filed to have the lock repaired.
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Gutierrez had just finished an award ceremony and was in her office when she heard a coach report of “shots fired” over the radio. She attempted to initiate a lockdown through an application but had difficulty sending the alert due to a bad Wi-Fi signal, according to the investigative report. She also did not attempt to communicate the lockdown alert over the school’s intercom.
Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District had a scheduled meeting Monday evening.