The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District has scheduled a special meeting this weekend to discuss potentially firing its embattled police chief, Pete Arredondo.
He was placed on administrative leave following the massacre May 24 at Robb Elementary School that killed 19 students and two teachers. Arredondo and other responding officers have been slammed for waiting over an hour to confront the gunman.
"Uvalde County is the laughing stock of the United States," said Berlinda Arreola, grandmother of Uvalde shooting victim Amerie Jo Garza.
She and other victims' families have been demanding accountability from community leaders since the attack, repeatedly calling for Arredondo to be fired and for school officials to better fortify campuses.
Arreola and others have said it's taken far too long for the school district to hear those complaints and remove Arredondo. Her grandchildren are among several in the community that will not return to campus in the fall, she added.
Robb Elementary parent Tina Ann Quintanilla-Taylor, whose children will also not return to campus, said the school district has not done enough to assuage anger and fear in the community.
“I think they’re cowards,” she said. “You could be a hero right now or you could be a loser. They’re totally losers and it shows.”
The district board of education's upcoming closed session, scheduled for Saturday morning, will include consultation with the district’s attorney “concerning legal and procedural issues related to recommended termination for good cause of the non-certified contract of Pete Arredondo,” according to the meeting notice.
The meeting will end with an open session that will cover discussion and possible action “regarding termination for good cause as recommended by the Superintendent."
A scathing report released Sunday by a Texas House committee faulted “systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making” by law enforcement and the Uvalde school district.
Under the district's active shooter plan, Arredondo would have been the incident commander, but he “did not assume his preassigned responsibility of incident command,” according to the report.
However, Arredondo has said he did not consider himself to be the officer in charge.
“I didn’t issue any orders,” he previously told The Texas Tribune. “I called for assistance and asked for an extraction tool to open the door.”
Arredondo became the school district's police chief in 2020.
He was elected to the Uvalde City Council just weeks before the elementary school shooting, and was officially sworn in a week after the massacre. He resigned July 2.
On Monday, angry and heartbroken parents expressed their outrage to the school board, calling for school Superintendent Hal Harrell to be fired and for trustees to step down. Some repeated their calls again for Arredondo to be fired.