Community members weigh in on Uvalde CISD safety, security plans ahead of first day of classes

Attendees also spoke about the budget

UVALDE, TexasUvalde CISD community members had an open forum to ask about the district’s budget and safety and security plans for the upcoming school year, which starts Sept. 6.

That open forum lasted over an hour and a half. Speakers seemingly had a renewed sense of urgency about safety and security changes.

“Ensuring campus personnel are aware of alternative methods of warning campus personnel of an active threat, including the use of intercom systems,” said Kimberly Rubio, Lexi Rubio’s mother.

Kimberly Rubio was listing off security updates that could have potentially saved lives the day of the Robb Elementary School shooting on May 24, in which 19 students and two teachers were killed. Lexi Rubio was one of the children.

“This measure could’ve saved Irma Garcia, Eva Mireles, Amerie Jo Garza, and Alithia Ramirez,” Berlinda Arreola said.

Arreola was one of several victims’ families that read their names and talked about how these common-sense security changes could have saved their lives.

Those changes are what families and community members are asking for as the start of school is around the corner.

“Again, with glass, I mean, where are they going to put some kind of ballistic on all glass? Is that true or not?” Javier Cazares, Jackie Cazares’ father, asked.

Jackie was also a victim in the Robb Elementary shooting.

“That’s one thing we were investigating and looking at,” Uvalde CISD superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell responded to Javier Cazares.

Harrell on Monday went over the variety of training that has taken place to get teachers and staff ready for the emotional needs of students this year.

Harrell also pointed out that the physical changes to the schools won’t be ready in time for the first day.

“This work is running behind schedule. The manufacturing of the doors and frames has been back-ordered,” Harrell said.

Meeting attendees again called for every officer with UCISD police to be placed on leave for their roles on May 24.

The district reiterated an independent audit and evaluation is being conducted before an investigation is started. This promise was not good enough for Monday night’s attendees.

“Why not conduct an investigation as soon as possible, so you can relieve some of these officers of their duty or faculty or other people that need to be removed from their duties? I mean, don’t you think that would be important?” questioned Manuel Rizo, Jackie Cazares’ uncle.

Harrell mentioned he’ll be meeting with a Texas DPS captain and lieutenant on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. to talk about what the 33 troopers would be doing on Uvalde CISD campuses when classes begin.

KSAT 12 learned training will take place on Sunday and Monday to ensure the troopers are prepared for school to start next Tuesday.

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About the Authors:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

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.