Uvalde School Superintendent Resigns


Dr. Hal Harrell | Image by Wall Street Journal

The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) accepted the resignation of its superintendent Monday evening.

Dr. Hal Harrell announced plans to retire Friday, mere hours after the entire district police department was suspended, reported Fox 7.

Harrell issued a staff memo announcing his departure after 15 years of serving in various positions within the school district, including teacher, principal, and finally, superintendent, a post he held since 2018.

“This will be our first discussion and there are no defined timelines set at this point,” Harrell’s memo read, as reported by the Texas Tribune. “UCISD has the most resilient and dedicated staff and I know you will continue to support and love our kids until and after my retirement date.”

School officials suspended the entire district police force following the firing of an officer who was one of the first to respond to the deadly school shooting in May at Robb Elementary, which claimed the lives of 19 children and two adults.

The district police department was heavily criticized for its handling of the event, with a particular focus on its delayed response.

A Texas House investigative committee said there were “systemic failures and egregious poor decision making” by people in positions of authority.

Police Chief Pete Arredondo was fired by the Uvalde school board in August. He told the Texas Tribune that he never considered himself the commander during the incident. He said he left police and campus radios outside, claiming he believed it would slow him down.

CNN reported a mixed reaction from parents to Harrell stepping down, with some giving him a standing ovation and others criticizing his role during the shooting.

“I will say this, if it had been 17 white kids, all of those people out there would have been in here,” Brett Cross, guardian of shooting victim Uziyah Garcia, said during the meeting. “All of our kids matter.”

Other unnamed residents suggested all school board members should step down.

“I’m disgusted with this community,” Kimberly Rubio, mother of 10-year-old Lexi Rubio, who was killed in the shooting, said during the meeting, according to ABC News.

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