×
Newsmax TV & Webwww.newsmax.comFREE - In Google Play
VIEW
×
Newsmax TV & Webwww.newsmax.comFREE - On the App Store
VIEW
Skip to main content
Tags: uvalde | texas | school shooting | principal | robb elementary | security

Uvalde Principal Says Claims of Poor Security 'Unfair'

Joe Biden embraces Mandy Gutierrez
President Joe Biden embraces Mandy Gutierrez, principal of Robb Elementary School, on May 29, in Uvalde, Texas. (Mandel Ngan/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 28 July 2022 08:59 AM EDT

Robb Elementary School principal Mandy Gutierrez, who is on paid administrative leave while a review continues of the school's security practices, is defending her decision not to use a PA system to order a lockdown as a school shooter was approaching the school and insists a door lock was working in one of the classrooms where the May massacre took place in Uvalde, Texas.

"It is unfair and inaccurate to conclude that I ever (became) complacent on any security issue of Robb Elementary," she said in a letter Wednesday to a Texas House committee that found she did not address security lapses at the school, where 19 students and two teachers were massacred in May, reports The San Antonio Express-News.

"Our training emphasized that using the public address system could compound the problem in creating a panic situation with students and an alert to the one or more gunmen that was present to do maximum harm," she further said in her letter, obtained by the Express-News. "I was trained to consider the PA system as communication with perpetrators that could be used to hurt more students and teachers."

According to the House committee's report, Gutierrez failed to issue a lockdown order after she got word that a shooter was coming across the schoolyard and heading to one of its buildings.

The committee also determined that overall, the school's administrators had handled security poorly, making it easier for gunman Salvador Ramos, 18, of Uvalde, to enter the building, where he shot and killed the 21 victims and injured several others before police shot him.

The school had adopted measures such as having locked doors leading outside and into classrooms, but the House report said that in the school, "there was a regrettable culture of noncompliance by school personnel who frequently propped doors open and deliberately circumvented locks."

Investigators found that the door leading to the school's Room 111 was unlocked, allowing Ramos to enter the classroom. He shot his victims there and in adjoining Room 112.

The school also had poor Wi-Fi service, and the committee said that sometimes hindered its "Raptor" web-based danger notification system.

Gutierrez said in her letter that on the day of the shooting, she reacted in the way she always did when the system was slow.

"I encountered buffering and did what I always do. I went to a window and held my phone up," she said. "At the same time, I called UCISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo. He picked up the phone and was already aware of the Raptor alert, saying to me before I uttered a single word, 'Shut it down, Mandy. Shut it down.'"

Gutierrez further disagreed with the committee's determination that the door lock for Room 111 was not working, saying in her letter that the door had been locked and checked on the night before the shooting, as the school's custodians checked all doors at night to be sure that they were locked.

Gutierrez also noted that the teacher for Room 111, Arnulfo Reyes, had unlocked the classroom's door on the morning of the shooting and that he'd complained on "more than one occasion that because the door DID lock, his work day was interrupted because the printer for several classrooms was located in that room."

Gutierrez has worked for the Uvalde school district for more than 20 years and started as a fourth-grade teacher at Robb Elementary. She became the school's assistant principal in 2018 and then its principal in 2021.

She also pointed out that she had gotten an "accomplished" rating for school safety in a recent performance review.

The report also said school officials had eased safety procedures because of lockdowns over "bailouts" occurring when people crash vehicles so their passengers can run away, but Gutierrez denied any "complacency."

She also pleaded for her job in the letter, saying that while she will live with the "horror" of the shootings, she wants to "continue to be on the front lines helping children who survived, the families of all affected, and the entire Uvalde community that I love and want to continue to protect."

Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
Robb Elementary School principal Mandy Gutierrez, who is on paid administrative leave while a review continues of the school's security practices, is defending her decision not to use a PA system to order a lockdown as a school shooter was approaching the school.
uvalde, texas, school shooting, principal, robb elementary, security
686
2022-59-28
Thursday, 28 July 2022 08:59 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
TOP

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved