Uvalde residents give superintendent, school board members an earful at special meeting

Meeting centered around safety but quickly topics swirled over accountability for law enforcement

Uvalde residents had a chance to ask questions and raise concerns over school safety at a special school board meeting Monday night.

UVALDE, Texas – Uvalde residents had a chance to ask questions and raise concerns over school safety at a special school board meeting Monday night.

The meeting lasted for hours inside of the John H. Harrell Auditorium.

Families of victims and survivors joined community members demanding action.

Much of the outrage stemmed around Uvalde CISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo still being employed by the school district. It was unveiled tonight in the school board meeting that Arredondo’s administrative leave is paid.

“In hindsight, this meeting should have happened earlier, I apologize that it did not we tried to find the right time and right balance out of respect. I did not do well,” Dr. Hal Harrell, superintendent of Uvalde CISD said at the beginning of the meeting.

Dr. Harrell’s apology fell on deaf ears to nearly every member of the audience who continually shouted things like fail and accountability throughout the hours-long meeting.

“If he’s not fired by noon tomorrow then I want your resignation and every single one of you board members because y’all do not give a D*** about our children or us,” Brett Cross, Uziyah Garcia’s legal guardian said regarding Arredondo’s employment.

Multiple families stated their children will not continue their education in this school district until actions are taken to harden schools and hold law enforcement responsible for their lack of action.

“Most of those kids were my friends and that’s not good. I don’t want to go to your guyses school if there’s not protection,” Maylee Taylor, a student at Uvalde CISD said.

Dr. Harrell tried to explain to community members that he cannot decide to fire Arredondo tonight. They’ll need to examine the investigation done and then have a private board meeting to decide whether or not Arredondo will stay employed with the school district.

“Y’all hired him y’all can fire him,” Adam Martinez, a parent in the school district said.

Harrell announced tonight the start of school will be delayed until after Labor Day in order to have security and safety precautions put into place.

When pressed about fencing that will be installed around the schools, Harrell said the elementary and middle schools will have an 8ft fence put in around the permieter.

He explained they’re working on what to do for the high school campus.

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About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.