UVALDE, Texas — Parents of Robb Elementary students received some answers on what the next school year will look like, but some voiced frustration as district officials refused to answer questions about their response to the mass shooting.
The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District posted a press release on Facebook, saying they were holding the briefing at 9 a.m. in the Uvalde CISD Boardroom.
Initially, they said conference will "provide a district update on grade level alignment, safety and security, counseling, and upcoming district updates." They did note that they would not discuss the investigation into the Robb Elementary shooting, or personnel matters.
"I ask you to be mindful...we are grieving as well," district authorities said in the conference.
Officials were asked who gave them information that led to the district sending out the following text message on the day of the shooting:
"Robb Elementary is under a Lockdown Status due to gun shots in the area. The students and staff are safe in the building."
District members refused to comment.
When superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell was asked if he trusts the police chief to handle responses, he refused to answer.
"That falls in line with some personnel, and I'm not gonna comment," he said.
Uvalde CISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo was named by Texas DPS as the incident commander on the scene who instructed officers not to enter the room and engage the shooter.
Police waited about an hour to breach the door and enter the room where 19 students and two teachers were killed and many others were injured. A DPS official called that choice to wait "the wrong decision, period." Arredondo recently pushed back on claims that he is not cooperating with the investigation into law enforcement's response to the shooting.
Arredondo was recently elected to Uvalde City Council, and though a swearing in ceremony was canceled in the wake of the shooting, Arredondo and other members were sworn in privately.
His first city council meeting was earlier this week, and he was the only member who did not show up.
Parents and many others in the community are frustrated with the lack of transparency.
"If no one's gonna speak about it, then what are we here for?" asked one mother. She called the police officers who failed to engage the shooter at Robb cowards.
"We need new cops in this city, we need to get rid of the cops that were supposedly doing their job, and they weren't even doing their job," she said.
At the meeting, officials discussed how Robb Elementary students will be grouped with another campus this summer to "better meet unique needs." More plans will be announced with weekly updates.
Summer school will take place for UCISD and they are reportedly in the process of strengthening security on all campuses. Counseling services will remain in place for summer school students on all campuses with trauma trained counselors.
As for the Robb campus, leaders said no school personnel will be at the campus as no students will be there this summer as the community moves forward. However, in the long-term, they said they will get "community input as to what it looks likes."
Robb Elementary parents will be informed when they can pick up their items left on campus.
Graduation plans for seniors are still pending.
Many questions related to the investigation went unanswered by officials. You can watch the full press conference here: