Uvalde parents remain steadfast in their protest for accountability outside of the district’s central office

Brett Cross has stayed outside the Uvalde CISD building since September 27th.

Families of the Robb Elementary victims are continuing their protest, demanding that the UCISD police officers at the school on May 24th be suspended pending an investigation.

UVALDE – Families of the Robb Elementary victims are continuing their protest, demanding that the UCISD police officers at the school on May 24th be suspended pending an investigation.

Questions remain unanswered from Uvalde CISD officials almost a week after parents started protesting outside of the district’s central office. Families and their supporters aren’t moving from UCISD’s central office or from their demands.

“We just want the officers that were there from the school district suspended until an investigation is completed we’re not asking for unpaid we’re not asking for jobs right now,” Brett Cross said.

Cross had one meeting with superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell last week, and Saturday, he met briefly with Beth Reavis, another district official. So far, there has been no progress.

”I’m steadfast in what I’m doing, I’m not going anywhere until these demands are met,” Cross said.

The district had planned a town hall for Monday, October 3, but abruptly canceled those plans with no explanation the day after Cross’ protest started.

KSAT 12 reporter Leigh Waldman tried asking Kenneth Mueller, the director of student services, about the cancelation.

“Any comment about why the town hall was canceled?” Waldman asked. No response from Mueller.

He wasn’t the only one not wanting to talk. A woman who works inside of the building came out and said this to our crew; “Dr Harrell’s not here right now.”

“What about Anne Marie Espinoza?” Waldman asked.

“She’s not here either,” the woman replied.

Waldman asked if she could check with Dr. Harrell’s receptionist on when he’ll be back. The woman’s reply was short.

“No ma’am they’re not available,” she said, slamming the door behind her.

Our crew asked for the woman’s name, but she didn’t respond. The woman working at the reception desk said it was Susie.

“Susie, what’s her last name?” Waldman asked.

“Smirnoff,” the receptionist replied.

We were unable to find a Susie Smirnoff on the district’s directory.

Dr. Harrell’s receptionist eventually called back and said she’d deliver a phone message, that was at 3:45 p.m., and as of the time of this article’s publication, that call has not been returned.

Anne Marie Espinoza, the district’s communication executive, returned one of the emails sent by Waldman. She wrote in part, “schedules are not able to accommodate a meeting.”

Despite the constant roadblocks and unanswered requests, Cross’s commitment is not wavering.

“I can wait ‘em out, and that’s what I’m gonna do,” Cross said.

There’s been a constant stream of supporters. Cross said it’s not just Uvalde families but people coming from San Antonio and even Santa Fe to offer their support for his fight for accountability.

UCISD’s next board meeting is on Monday, October 10th; no word on if the town hall will be rescheduled.

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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.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.