American News Jul 26, 2022 6:46 AM
An investigation found that Gutierrez had been aware of security problems at the school prior to the shooting, but failed to address them.
Following the horrific mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, an investigation was launched to uncover what could have been done to prevent the shooter from gaining access to the building.
On Monday, it was revealed that as a result of the investigation, Principal Mandy Gutierrez would be suspended with pay.
According to ABC News, the special legislative investigation launched on June 17 found that Gutierrez had been aware of security problems at the school prior to the shooting, but failed to address them. Gutierrez was among the first to testify as a witness, giving her account of what happened on May 24.
Neither the school district nor Gutierrez’s lawyer have released further details regarding the duration of her suspension, only confirming that it was enacted as a result of the investigation.
News of the suspension broke as the school board was beginning their regularly scheduled meeting, during which they announced that students would return to class on September 6 following a number of school security improvements and the development of emotional and social support services.
Gutierrez is not the first official to be suspended following the tragedy, which claimed the lives of nineteen students and two teachers.
In June, Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo was put on unpaid administrative leave for his failure to act during the massacre. There have been repeated calls from across the district for Arredondo to be fired, which many expect will happen any day now.
At the time of the attack, Arredondo told officers to hold back, thinking that the situation had changed from that of an active shooter to a barricaded suspect.
He tried numerous times to speak with the shooter after he locked himself in the classroom, however his attempts were futile.
The investigation found that “the void of leadership” on the part of Arredondo and others “could have contributed to the loss of life as injured victims waited over an hour for help, and the attacker continued to sporadically fire his weapon.”
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