By Brian Lopez, The Texas Tribune
“Robb Elementary students will be relocated to two other schools this fall, superintendent says” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
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Robb Elementary’s 550 students will be relocated in the fall to two other Uvalde elementary schools, Superintendent Hal Harrell said Thursday.
The relocation plan was unveiled after school officials announced last week that no student will return to Robb, the site of the second-deadliest school shooting in United States history. The May 24 shooting left 19 students and two teachers dead.
Robb, south of downtown Uvalde, was where most students in second through fourth grade attended school. Including Robb, there are five elementary schools in the district, each one devoted to several classes of certain grades.
Most of the students who went to Robb will be relocated to Flores Elementary, said Harrell, who leads the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District. Flores is where most of the fifth and sixth graders go to school in Uvalde.
Students entering second grade in the fall will stay at Dalton Elementary, which typically serves students in pre-K through first grade.
Harrell said there will be security measures in place as students go to summer school and return for the 2022-23 school year. These include having officers at each campus during summer school and hiring more officers for the upcoming school year.
In the coming weeks, Harrell said, he will continue updating parents about developments at Robb, such as when parents can pick up their children’s items from the school.
“We recognize our families and staff have questions that we do not have answers to yet,” Harrell said at the press conference.
Harrell did not say what would happen to Robb Elementary, but there have been calls from state and local officials for the school to be demolished and a new one be built in its place.
State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, told San Antonio television station KSAT there is hope that the federal government will provide a grant to rebuild the school. He said President Joe Biden, who visited Uvalde on May 29, told him, “We’re going to look to raze that school and build a new one.”
“I can’t tell you how many little children that I’ve talked to that don’t want to go back into that building. They’re just traumatized. They’re just destroyed,” Gutierrez told KSAT.
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin has said he believes the same should be done.
After outlining the plan for Robb Elementary students, Harrell would not take questions regarding school district police Chief Pete Arredondo.
According to Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Arredondo’s decision to wait more than an hour for backup officers instead of immediately moving into the school was the “wrong decision, period.”
Reporters at Thursday’s news conference asked Harrell if he still trusted Arredondo and if he would continue as police chief. Harrell said he would not answer questions about the ongoing investigations or school staffing matters.
“That’s a personnel question,” Harrell told reporters on Thursday. “I am not able to answer that in a public forum.”
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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2022/06/09/robb-elementary-students/.
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