Updated Oct 10, 2022 - World

Uvalde superintendent announces retirement from reeling district

Texas Governor Greg Abbott arrives while President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden greet Mandy Gutierrez, the priciple of Robb Elementary School, and Superintendent Hal Harrell in Uvalde, Texas on May 29, 2022. Photo: CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

The superintendent of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District has announced his retirement through a Facebook post shared by his wife.

Driving the news: "I am truly grateful for your support and well wishes. My decision to retire has not been made lightly and was made after much prayer and discernment," Hal Harrell said in a post on his wife's Facebook page Monday.

  • Harrell said he will remain in his post "throughout the year" until a new superintendent "can be named."
  • The superintendent has faced backlash in the aftermath of the Robb Elementary School mass shooting in which 19 students and two teachers died earlier this year. Some parents have called for his removal.

Where it stands: A school district meeting agenda for Monday evening says board members will go into a closed session for an "attorney consultation regarding legal issues related to Superintendent retirement and transition."

  • They'll resume the public part of the meeting to consider and discuss the retirement and transition, the agenda says.

Of note: The announcement of Halls' retirement comes days after the school district suspended its entire police force Friday in the latest fallout over the shooting.

  • Also last week, the school district fired Crimson Elizondo, a former Texas Department of Public Safety trooper who is under investigation for her response to the shooting, CNN reported.
  • Elizondo, who arrived on the scene minutes after the shooting started, was heard on bodycam video saying she would've responded differently if her own child was inside the school at the time.

Zoom out: The aftermath of the Uvalde shooting was packed with confusion and claims of a "cover-up" scheme, leading to distrust of local officials, Axios' Herb Scribner reports.

  • The families of three children who survived the shooting filed a lawsuit late last month against a number of entities including the school district, alleging negligence and recklessness.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional information throughout.

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