Uvalde CISD students won’t get in trouble for gun violence protests this time, superintendent says

The protests took place on National School Walkout Day

UVALDE, Texas – Hundreds of Uvalde CISD students will not face consequences after taking part in protests against gun violence on Wednesday, even though some of them broke school rules, according to interim superintendent Gary Patterson.

However, if students break the rules and leave campus without following the safety protocols the next time around, there will be consequences, Patterson said.

A letter was sent out Thursday to parents of students after the planned protests on Wednesday, which fell on National School Walkout Day.

They also happened nearly a year after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and killed 19 students and two teachers.

Patterson claimed in the letter that between 100-200 students at Uvalde High School and Morales Junior High left campus during the protests without letting anyone know.

“Although each campus attempted to provide a safe and secure area for students to participate in the Student Walkout on campus, many chose to leave campus without checking out or getting permission from their parents or administration before leaving campus,” Patterson said.

In the letter, Patterson said he witnessed the following firsthand:

  • Students deliberately disregard administrative directives to stop, make their way to the office, call parents and check out.
  • Young female students crawling under fencing and jumping into vehicles with boys before speeding off through the neighborhood.
  • Receiving multiple calls from concerned parents, not knowing if their child was in or out of school.
  • Parents encouraging students to leave campuses and walk out.

Patterson said instead of turning to punishment, he wants to work with students to allow their voices to be heard.

“I would rather focus on working with our students as partners and seeing what we can do to have student voices heard without facing some of the issues we say yesterday...,” Patterson said.

“However in the near future, if walkouts are called for, any student that does not follow administration, law enforcement, or teacher directions, and wants to leave campus without signing out or calling parents, will be held accountable for their choices,” he said in the letter. “We cannot and will not allow hundreds of students to walk off campus each time any local or national group calls for action.”

You can read the full letter from Patterson below:

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About the Authors:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.

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.