Robb Elementary School had security measures in place to stop violence. The school's property was enclosed by a fence. Teachers were instructed to lock and close all classroom doors. Regular lockdown drills and evacuation drills were conducted for students.
However, a 18-year old man arrived at Uvalde High School Tuesday with the intent of killing children.
School safety experts claim that security failures enabled the shooter to kill 19 students and two teachers. There are calls to strengthen schools, in addition to the millions of dollars spent on other measures after earlier shootings. However, increased security comes with risks and does not guarantee an end to mass violence. It could backfire in the worst cases, such as Uvalde.
Ronald Stephens, the executive director of the National School Safety Center (a non-profit that works with schools across America), said, "You can do all you can to prevent a crisis at school, but we can't read the minds and the thoughts of all the criminals out there." "We can't prevent all crime."
A district safety plan stated that Uvalde schools had many measures in place to prevent violence. According to the plan, the district had four officers and four counselors. It appears that the plan dates back to the 2019-20 school years. Software was used to monitor social media and to screen school visitors.
Officials said that the gunman climbed the fence to gain entry and entered the school through the back door that was propped open. He opened the back door to a fourth-grade classroom and shot teachers and children.
Nearly 20 officers were seen standing in a hallway during the attack. The on-site commander believed that the gunman was in a classroom. Children were not at risk. Steven McCraw, Texas Department of Public Safety Director, stated at a Friday news conference that "it was the wrong choice."
Curtis Lavarello is the executive director of School Safety Advocacy Council. He provides training in school safety. He said that while the school in Texas appeared to be doing many good things, the gunman was able unimpeded to enter the building and get into a classroom.
If they aren't followed in practice, all those words on paper don't mean anything. He said that there were a lot of gaps.
Some Republicans called for more investments in school security to stop further attacks after the shooting. Some are pushing for more school security officers with guns, as well as metal detectors and other measures that make it harder to get into schools.
Senator Ted Cruz (Republican from Texas) is one of those who promote physical security measures. Fox News' Wednesday interview with Ted Cruz featured 2013 legislation, which would have provided grants for schools to install bulletproof doors or hire armed officers.
Cruz stated that if the grants had been given to Robb Elementary Cruz claimed, "the armed officers could have taken [him out] and we would still have 19 children and 2 teachers."