HOUSTON, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Uvalde school district police chief Pete Arredondo was fired on Wednesday evening in a unanimous vote by the Uvalde school board, three months after 19 children and two teachers were killed at Robb Elementary School in the U.S. state of Texas.
In a closed session meeting, the board voted to immediately terminate Arredondo's contract, who was widely blamed for the botched law enforcement response to the May 24 shooting.
"I have messages for Pete Arredondo and all the law enforcement there that day. Turn in your badge and step down. You don't deserve to wear one," a young speaker reportedly said at the meeting before the vote.
In response, Arredondo's attorney said in a 17-page statement that the school district wasn't following legal procedure to fire him. Arredondo did not attend the meeting, citing concerns about his personal safety, according to his attorney.
As students and staff across the United States return to classrooms for the first time since the Uvalde school shooting, many wonder whether school officials have done enough to secure campuses and quell the fears of families sending their children back.
Especially in Uvalde, families and community members show little faith that adding more police officers to monitor school property will do much good to protect students and staff, referring to the 376 law enforcement agents who responded to the May 24 shooting and failed to intervene for 74 minutes.
When school starts from Sept. 6 in Uvalde, students who would have gone to Robb will instead go to another two elementary schools. A virtual academy will be available for families who don't want to send their students back to school.
While the Uvalde shooting was the deadliest so far in 2022, at least 27 school shootings in 2022 resulted in injuries or deaths, according to the school shooting tracker of Education Week, an independent news organization. There have been 119 since 2018 when Education Week began tracking such incidents.