Who is Mandy Gutierrez? Robb Elementary principal placed on administrative leave after shooting
Mandy Gutierrez, the principal of Robb Elementary School where 19 students and two teachers were shot dead by a gunman on May 24, has now been placed on administrative leave. The principal's attorney, Ricardo Cedillo, confirmed the development to CBS News on Monday. However, the exact reason why Gutierrez was placed on leave is still under wraps.
"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 said in a statement. "Ms. Gutierrez has no further comment now." The news comes shortly after police chief Pete Arredondo was placed on unpaid leave by the Uvalde school system.
Who is Mandy Gutierrez?
Mandy Gutierrez has worked in the Uvalde school district for more than 20 years and the session of 2021-2022 was her first year as the principal of Robb Elementary School. Before the promotion, she used to teach fourth grade and was also an assistant principal at the school.
Principal Gutierrez's position was in question after a Texas legislative committee faulted her and an assistant for not tackling the security problems at the school despite being aware of them before the May 24 massacre.
A Texas House of Representatives report claimed that there was a "regrettable culture of noncompliance by school personnel who propped doors open and circumvented locks.”
For the unversed, on May 24, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered school premises with an AR-15-style rifle and killed 21 people, including 19 children and two teachers, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Before Gutierrez’s leave, the Uvalde school system sent school police chief Pete Arredondo on unpaid leave for his role in the delayed police response. Hal Harrell, the school superintendent, recommended firing Arredondo. The school board was supposed to make the final call on his termination, but that meeting was delayed due to some in-system issues, KSAT-TV reported.
Arredondo has been receiving backlash for deciding to wait over an hour for backup instead of confronting the shooter, who was ultimately taken down by US Border Patrol officers. A preliminary report disclosed that a total of 376 law enforcement officers were at Robb Elementary while the gunman was at large for over 70 minutes.
The district school board held a meeting on Monday evening during which they postponed the start of the district school year until September 06. The decision was made to lend officials enough time to resolve the educational resource issues at Robb Elementary, including replacing classrooms.