The Uvalde massacre happened less than a month ago. Nineteen children and two teachers were slaughtered in their Robb Elementary classrooms, and dozens more were injured and traumatized. Several of those little kids were calling 911 and begging police to come and save them. Help did not come for them. A dozen cops waited outside the classroom, not even approaching the door, as an 18-year-old shooter slaughtered children. The rest of the Uvalde police force stood outside Robb Elementary, tasering and handcuffing the parents who were begging them to go inside and save their kids. Now the mayor of Uvalde says that the town will tear down Robb Elementary.
Robb Elementary School will be torn down, the mayor of Uvalde, Texas, said just under a month after a horrific shooting left 19 students and 2 teachers dead. During a city council meeting on Tuesday evening, captured on video by CBS affiliate KENS in San Antonio, Uvalde mayor Don McLaughlin was asked by an attendee about the school being “demolished.”
“My understanding — I had a discussion with the superintendent — that school will be demolished,” McLaughlin said. “We could never ask a child to go back, or a teacher to go back into that school ever.”
Also on Tuesday, Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw appeared before a Texas Senate committee to speak about the police response to the May 24 mass shooting, stating that officers could have stopped the gunman if the commander had not hesitated. McCraw was blunt, saying that the law enforcement response was “an abject failure” and claiming that police could have stopped the shooter within three minutes after arriving at the school.
“The officers had weapons; the children had none,” McCraw said during the hearing, watched by PEOPLE. “The officers had body armor; the children had none. The officers had training; the subject had none. One hour, 14 minutes and eight seconds. That’s how long children waited, and the teachers waited, in Room 111 to be rescued.”
McCraw placed the blame squarely on Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo, who was the commanding officer at the scene — even though he later said that he had no idea he was in charge. In his testimony, McCraw said that Arredondo placed the lives of his officers before those of the children.
While Pete Arrendondo is absolutely to blame, many more are to blame as well. The cops who waited outside the classroom, the cops who tasered parents, the cops who handcuffed parents, the cops who did absolutely nothing to clear the other classrooms, the Republicans who prioritize their NRA money over the lives of children, the NRA for being a terrorist organization, the Texas Republicans who are utterly useless and corrupt. So many people failed those kids and the Uvalde families. Those are the same people trying to hang everything around Arrendondo’s neck. And while I’m glad that Robb Elementary will be torn down, I get the feeling that Texas does not actually have a plan for what’s next.
Photos courtesy of Getty.