Uvalde superintendent Hal Harrell said the school district will hire more police on Thursday and confirmed that students and staff will never return to the Robb Elementary campus. Harrell declined to comment on embattled school district police chief Pete Arredondo, who was the incident commander during last month’s shooting that left 19 children and two adults dead.
“We will not be going back to that campus in any form or fashion. There will be no school personnel on that campus as we move forward,” Harrell said Thursday.
President Biden suggested to a local lawmaker while visiting Uvalde days after the shooting that the federal government could provide resources to raze the school and build a new one.
Harrell declined to answer multiple questions about whether he still has faith in the school district’s police chief, who state law enforcement officials have blamed for making the “wrong decision” not to immediately confront the gunman.
“That’s a personnel question,” Harrell said at the press conference. “I am not going to be able to answer that in a public forum.”
Arredondo was recently elected to the Uvalde city council and was sworn in on May 31, just a week after the shooting, but he did not show up to a city council meeting on Tuesday.
Two special committees in the Texas legislature and the Department of Justice are currently investigating the law enforcement response to the shooting.
Harrell said that a law enforcement officer will be assigned to every campus in the district during summer school and more officers will be hired before the fall semester.
“It is our goal to hire additional officers to be assigned to each campus for the upcoming school year,” Harrell said.