Robb Elementary School Principal Placed on Leave by Uvalde Officials

The principal of Robb Elementary School in Texas, where a gunman opened fire on students and teachers in May, has been placed on paid administrative leave this week her attorney confirmed.

Mandy Gutierrez’s lawyer confirmed the news to multiple outlets on Monday but did not provide any further information as to why his client was placed on leave.

“I can confirm that Ms. Gutierrez was placed on Administrative Leave With Pay today by Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Hal Harrell,” attorney Ricardo Cedillo told CBS News. “Ms. Gutierrez has no further comment at this time.”

The Epoch Times has contacted Gutierrez’s attorney and the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District for comment.

Gutierrez has worked in the Uvalde school district for more than 20 years, starting as a fourth-grade teacher in 2008 before becoming assistant principal in 2018, according to a report on the handling of the shooting massacre which was recently released by the Texas state House of Representatives.

Gutierrez became principal of the school in 2021, according to the report. She is currently not listed in the staff directory on the school’s official website.

The report features testimony from Gutierrez, who said the school administration knew prior to the May 24 massacre about security problems in the form of a door that did not lock.

The same door was likely used by the gunman to get into one of the classrooms, the report said, and despite knowing that there were issues with the door, no one placed a written order to have it repaired.

‘Regrettable Culture Of Noncompliance’

“There was a regrettable culture of noncompliance by school personnel who frequently propped doors open and deliberately circumvented locks,” the report reads. “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,” it continues. “The school district did not treat the maintenance of doors and locks with appropriate urgency.”

The same report also found that there were failures across the board by some of the roughly 400 law enforcement officers who responded to the mass shooting.

Gutierrez is the latest individual linked to the mass shooting to be placed on leave after Lt. Mariano Pargas, who was the acting police chief on duty the day of the incident, was placed on leave last week. 

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said in a statement that the leave is decided while an investigation takes place into “whether Lt. Pargas was responsible for taking command on May 24th, what specific actions Lt. Pargas took to establish that command, and whether it was even feasible, given all the agencies involved and other possible policy violations.”

CISD police Chief Pete Arredondo, who was one of the first responders on the scene, was also placed on leave in June amid mounting backlash over his failure not to immediately breach the classroom where the gunman was fatally shooting students at the school.

Nineteen children and two adults were killed in the May 24 massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde

Katabella Roberts

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Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.

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