Uvalde school board to discuss next move after superintendent announces retirement

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Monday, October 10, 2022
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The announcement of Dr. Hal Harrell's retirement came in on Friday, just hours after the district suspended its police department.

UVALDE, Texas -- The Uvalde school district board will meet Monday to discuss Superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell's retirement.

The announcement of Harrell's retirement came in on Friday, just hours after the district suspended its police department amid criticism of their response to the May 24 shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School.

In a statement shared to Facebook late Sunday night, Harrell wrote that, "My decision to retire has not been made lightly and was made after much prayer and discernment. My wife and I love you all and this community that we both grew up in, therefore this decision was a difficult one for us. I have been blessed to work among amazing educators and staff who believe in education for more than 30 years, which have all been in our beautiful community. These next steps for our future are being taken after much reflection, and is completely my choice."

The board will discuss the transition in a closed session on Monday, but Harrell plans to stay on with the district throughout the year until a new superintendent can be named.

Meanwhile, the school district's move to suspend the entire police force came one day after it fired Crimson Elizondo, an officer who was hired by Uvalde's school district despite being under investigation for her conduct as a DPS trooper during the massacre.

The length of the school district police department's suspension wasn't immediately clear.

The school district's police chief, Pete Arredondo, was fired in August.

The fallout has continued following the deadly shooting, but sports organizations over the last several months have offered different gestures to help the community as it tries to heal.

On Saturday, the San Antonio Spurs held an open practice in support of the elementary students.

"It's extremely sad," San Antonio guard Tre Jones said. "We wish everybody was with us, still being able to enjoy this moment. We are just trying to bring joy to the families and all the kids who were friends with those kids that died and help the teachers as well. We want to bring a moment of happiness into their lives again and try to just bring a smile to their faces."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.