Uvalde parents enter 2nd week of protest outside school district office

The parents want UCISD officers suspended pending an investigation.

October 5, 2022, 2:19 PM

Uvalde parents are still protesting outside the school administration offices after a full week, in an attempt to get UCISD officers suspended pending the independent review of the shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24, in which 19 children and two adults were killed.

Brett Cross, guardian of 10-year-old victim Uziyah Garcia, has not left the building site since last Tuesday morning, sleeping overnight in a cot and receiving food deliveries and messages of support from across the country.

PHOTO:  Weathered signs, candles and stuffed animals remain at a memorial outside Robb Elementary School the day after the video showing the May shooting inside the school released, in Uvalde, Texas, U.S., July 13, 2022.
Weathered signs, candles and stuffed animals remain at a memorial outside Robb Elementary School the day after the video showing the May shooting inside the school released, in Uvalde, Texas, U.S., July 13, 2022.
Kaylee Greenlee Beal/Reuters, FILE

"I am still out here and the plan is to stay," Cross told ABC News. "The goal is the same since we started this, we will stay here until those officers are held accountable."

Both Brett and his wife Niki Cross have posted updates on social media to document their efforts.

One video shows 19 backpacks and two teachers' tote bags lined up outside the building in remembrance of the victims, captioned, "These lives are who we are fighting for and I'm gonna make damn sure that this administration remembers them."

In another video posted yesterday, Brett said, "Everything that they're doing is reactionary instead of proactive," referring to office security upgrades that have gone into place since he's been there.

Traffic gates with a combination padlock were installed at the administrative building only days after protestors arrived, while fencing and security measures at the district's schools are not complete more than a month into the school session.

PHOTO: People visit a makeshift memorial to the victims of a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, June 30, 2022.
People visit a makeshift memorial to the victims of a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, June 30, 2022.
Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

Cross says he has not heard from the school district superintendent or his staff since their 8-minute meeting on Friday morning, which Cross live-streamed on Twitter. During that meeting, Superintendent Hal Harrell told Cross the district was conducting an investigation of the events on May 24 but officers were needed for campus patrol.

"We have had no communication with the school district," Cross told ABC News. "They've made some adjustments on how they enter the building, but that's it."

The school district did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment on Wednesday.

In a Sept. 30 internal memo to the school district obtained by ABC News, Harrell told teachers, "We do not condone this group's behavior and are seeking an end to the disruption. We are working to identify state or local partners who are willing to assist us in restoring peace."

There have been no reports of violence and no police intervention into the gathering to date, though Texas Department of Public Safety Officers have been present throughout the week.

UCISD spokesperson Anne Marie Espinoza told ABC News last week that the school district hired JPPI Investigations, a private investigative firm, to conduct an independent review of UCISD police actions on May 24.

"At this time, we do not have an expected completion date for the reviews," she said in an emailed statement to ABC News.

ABC News' Ismael Estrada contributed to this reporting.

Uvalde:365 is a continuing ABC News series reported from Uvalde and focused on the Texas community and how it forges on in the shadow of tragedy.

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