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Uvalde principal placed on leave pushes back against investigation’s findings about school security

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The principal of Robb Elementary School, who was placed on administrative leave more than two months after a mass shooting there, has pushed back on some of a Texas House committee’s conclusions about campus security.

In a letter to the House committee investigating the May 24 shooting, Mandy Gutierrez argued that the door to the classroom the gunman is believed to have entered had a functioning lock, that she was trained not to use the school’s public address system during shooting situations and that there was not a culture of complacency about security at Robb Elementary.

“It is unfair and inaccurate to conclude that I ever [became] complacent on any security issue of Robb Elementary,” Gutierrez said.

The House committee report pointed to several failures in law enforcement’s response to the shooting and issues at Robb Elementary that allowed the shooter to enter the school unobstructed before killing 19 children and two teachers.

Gutierrez’s letter responds to parts of the House committee report in which she was mentioned. The report concluded that while Robb Elementary’s active-shooter policy called for classroom doors to be locked, multiple witnesses said employees often left interior and exterior doors unlocked or propped open. Additionally, the report stated that the door to Room 111 — which investigators believe the shooter entered — was known to be faulty, though no one made a substantive effort to repair it.

Gutierrez outlined several points that she said proves the door to Room 111 had a functioning lock, including daily checks by custodial staff. She added that in “an aged building” like Robb Elementary, some doors needed to be forcibly shut to engage the locking mechanism.

“Teachers know this and work around it,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez did not dispute the report’s assertion that some staff didn’t follow safety policies requiring doors be kept locked.

Gutierrez did not dispute the report’s assertion that some staff didn’t follow safety policies requiring doors be kept locked.

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Sourabh Verma franklin
Sourabh Verma,From Franklin Tn - Sub-editor in Asian News International(ANI) I am a detailed-driven journalist with 3+ years of experience in news writing and copy-editing, I can file quick, compelling and error-free stories as they break. I have sound knowledge of national and international issues and have covered stories across beats, including politics, parliament, legal and crime like drugs and Human Trafficking at Asian News International (ANI), where I currently work. Some of these include extensive coverage of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, several state Assembly elections, Parliament sessions, COVID-19 pandemic and other stories of national importance. A typical working day involves copy-editing dozens of drafts, managing junior sub-editors in shifts and keeping an eye on developing stories. This added responsibility followed a couple of years of filing stories based on press briefings, bytes and inputs from reporters on the ground.
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