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Robb Elementary principal put on paid leave

Last year was Mandy Gutierrez's first at the helm at Robb.

UVALDE, Texas — Another Uvalde school district employee has been placed on leave as the summer of fallout from May's mass shooting at Robb Elementary continues.

Principal Mandy Gutierrez was put on paid administrative leave by Superintendent Hal Harrell on Monday, her attorney confirmed to KENS 5. No other details were provided about the decision. 

Last year was Gutierrez's first at the helm as Robb principal, after having been with the district for more than two decades. She was previously a fourth-grade teacher at Robb for 10 years before becoming assistant principal in 2018. 

In June she was one of many interviewed by the special Texas legislative committee formed in the wake of the shooting, giving her account of the May 24 events. 

"I'm just concerned for my families and kids," Gutierrez told lawmakers at the time. 

According to the Texas House committee's recently released report, Gutierrez tried to initiate a lockdown on May 24 amid early report of a gunman on campus, "but she had difficulty making the alert because of a bad WiFi signal." Instead of using the intercom, she instructed a custodian to make sure all doors were locked.

The announcement comes after Pete Arredondo, the embattled school district police chief at the center of scrutiny over law enforcement's response at Robb, was placed on unpaid administrative leave last week. He had been on paid leave since June 22, and his future with the district is in doubt after Harrell recommended his firing. 

The school board has yet to announce a new date for its postponed special meeting to discuss Arredondo's potential termination, after it cancelled Saturday's gathering. But there has been comparatively minimal discussion about Gutierrez's role on May 24. 

Meanwhile, also on Monday evening, trustees held a regular meeting where they approved sending a resolution to Gov. Greg Abbott urging him to call a special Legislative session to potentially raise the minimum age to buy an assault rifle to 21. They also approved pushing back the start of the upcoming school year by three weeks, setting Sept. 6 as the first day of classes. 

   

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