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Uvalde Students and Staff Not Returning to Robb Elementary After Shooting

The district’s superintendent said students will be moved to other campuses but did not confirm reports that Robb Elementary building may be razed

The memorial at Robb Elementary School on Thursday, May 26. (Lauren Witte/The Texas Tribune)

Students and staff will not return to Uvalde’s Robb Elementary School, where a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers, the school district’s superintendent said in a statement released on Wednesday.

“We are working through plans on how to serve students on other campuses and will provide that information as soon as it is finalized,” Superintendent Hal Harrell’s statement reads. “We are also working with agencies to help us identify improvements on all UCISD campuses.”

The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District is now developing “plans on how to serve students on other campuses” after the deadly May 24 shooting. Investigators are looking into why a self-locking door at Robb Elementary failed to engage after a teacher closed it that day, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Officials previously said a teacher had propped the door open but now say the teacher did shut it after opening it, correcting that information after a lawyer for the teacher insisted it had been closed. That same teacher had contacted 911 when the 18-year-old gunman crashed into a ditch by the school and was seen carrying a gun.

“She saw the wreck,” lawyer Don Flanary told the San Antonio Express-News. “She ran back inside to get her phone to report the accident. She came back out while on the phone with 911. The men at the funeral home yelled, ‘He has a gun!’ She saw him jump the fence, and he had a gun, so she ran back inside.”

The superintendent’s statement did not outline plans for the Robb Elementary School building. The federal government may tear down the school, state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, said in an interview with San Antonio television station KSAT.

Gutierrez said President Joe Biden, who visited Uvalde on Sunday, told him, “we’re going to look to raze that school and build a new one.”

In the statement, Harrell also said the district will continue to provide counseling and support to students and staff for the “foreseeable future” and will cooperate with law enforcement investigating the incident.

“Because the investigation is ongoing and information is evolving, we are going to reserve comment until all state and federal agencies have completed their review,” he said.

María Méndez is a reporter at The Texas Tribune, the only member-supported, digital-first, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. This article originally appeared on June 1 at TexasTribune.org.

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