Border Crisis Contributed to Botched Response to Uvalde School Massacre: Report

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UVALDE, Texas—The school in which 19 children and two teachers were massacred on May 24, had been in lockdown four times in the month prior to the shooting, said Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin.

Schools in the whole district had been in lockdown mode 47 times since February due to the border crisis spilling into the city, which is a smuggling corridor from the U.S.–Mexico border to San Antonio, a recent Texas House of Representatives report stated.

Ninety percent of the lockdowns were due to law enforcement chases of suspected smuggling vehicles through Uvalde and subsequent bailouts—where the driver crashes or stops the vehicle and occupants jump out and scatter from law enforcement, the report said.

The sheer increase in bailouts over the past 18 months and the subsequent lockdowns “contributed to a diminished sense of vigilance about responding to security alerts,” the Texas House report states.

“The series of bailout-related alerts led teachers and administrators to respond to all alerts with less urgency—when they heard the sound of an alert, many assumed that it was another bailout.”

Kenneth Mueller, director of student services for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) testified to the committee that parents became so concerned about the number of bailouts occurring near the elementary-school campuses that they offered to hire off-duty police to supplement the Uvalde CISD police presence.

Two months after the deadly massacre at Robb Elementary School, the school district is preparing for the beginning of a new year. But the Texas House review of law enforcement’s response to the May 24 shooting revealed a series of alarming failures by first responders. As a result, parents aren’t ready to send their kids back to a district they say is unsafe and where security problems remain unremedied.

“We’re 30 days from school starting and we’re having pursuits come through. We’re having bailouts—we had one this morning in Uvalde,” McLaughlin told The Epoch Times on July 12.

By Charlotte Cuthbertson

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