An inspector conducting a safety audit on a school campus in Uvalde, Texas, was able to gain access to a building through an exterior door due to a faulty latch, the superintendent said on Monday.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott directed the Texas School Safety Center in June to start “in-person, unannounced, random intruder detection audits” at districts across the state.
That order came just one week after a gunman walked through an exterior door at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and opened fire, killing 19 students and two teachers.
Inspectors approached three campuses in the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) in the recent audit. Two of the campuses were secure, but an inspector was able to gain access through a loading dock at the third campus.
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“They gained access, and that was disappointing. That really is 100% my responsibility to see that didn’t happen,” Uvalde CISD Interim Superintendent Gary Patterson said at a school board meeting.
“The delivery of goods into loading docks was just something, quite honestly, that I overlooked, but I won’t overlook it next time.”
Schools throughout Uvalde CISD are being outfitted with new security measures in the wake of the mass shooting, including fencing, surveillance cameras and campus monitors.
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A Texas House committee report on the shooting found that there “was a regrettable culture of noncompliance” with school security measures, giving the attacker “unimpeded access to enter” Robb Elementary School.
“With hindsight we can say that Robb Elementary did not adequately prepare for the risk of an armed intruder on campus,” the lawmakers wrote.
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The school district is also in the process of hiring a new police force after suspending all existing officers in October.