Texas school shooting: Robb Elementary School principal reinstated

UVALDE, Texas — The principal of a Texas elementary school where 19 students and two teachers were killed two months ago in a mass shooting has been reinstated after a three-day administrative leave of absence, district officials said.

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Mandy Gutierrez, the principal of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, received a letter from Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Hal Harrell on Thursday, KSAT-TV reported. The letter said that “as a result of our review,” Gutierrez would be able to resume her duties as principal and can continue “to serve all the families of UCISD.”

Gutierrez’s attorney, Ricardo Cedillo, shared the letter with the television station.

Harrell had placed Gutierrez on administrative leave with pay on Monday pending a review of security measures at the school, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

Gutierrez was asked to respond to a Texas House committee report that found security lapses at the school that made it easier for the 18-year-old gunman to enter the facility, according to the newspaper.

Gutierrez submitted a letter Wednesday to the committee defending her actions, KXAN-TV reported.

“It is unfair and inaccurate to conclude that I ever (became) complacent on any security issue of Robb Elementary,” Gutierrez wrote, clarifying that the lock of a classroom door the shooter used to enter Room 111 worked, contrary to reports that it did not.

The shooter killed the students and teachers in rooms 111 and 112, the Express-News reported.

The House report also stated that Gutierrez did not issue a lockdown order over the school’s public address system after receiving word that a shooter was crossing the school yard and heading toward one of the campus buildings.

In her letter to the committee, Gutierrez said she was trained that using the system could create panic and alert shooters, and possibly lead to more casualties, the Express-News reported.

“I feel that I followed the training that I was provided with to the best of my abilities,” Gutierrez told CNN on Wednesday. “And I will second-guess myself for the rest of my life.”

Neither Harrell nor UCISD spokesperson Anne Marie Espinoza responded to a request for comment Thursday, according to The Texas Tribune.

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