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'Culture of noncompliance' | Report on Uvalde massacre highlights Robb Elementary security failures

Doors that were supposed to remain locked were left open. Also, the committee said school staff frequently lost, forgot, or did not want to carry school keys.

UVALDE, Texas — A scathing report by a state committee investigating the mass school shooting in Uvalde points to a communication breakdown and numerous missteps by law enforcement before during and after the deadliest school shooting in state history.

But it also cites failures with security protocols at Robb Elementary that could have slowed the attacker.

The committee noted several problems with the school’s security procedures. Its report says doors were often left unlocked, and while there was an alert system to notify teachers of an intruder, on May 24, it was ineffective.

The committee dedicated 16 pages of its 77-page-report to Robb Elementary School security and facility procedures.

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It details school policies for locking doors at Robb.

The school principal testified that “the school’s west building has three exterior doors, two of which were required to remain locked. But multiple witnesses testified that people at Robb commonly left exterior doors unlocked and that teachers would use rocks to prop open exterior doors and use door stops, wedges, and magnets to prevent interior doors from latching.”

The attacker entered through an unlocked door at the west entrance, but the committee also learned, “the exterior doors on the east and south sides of the building were also unlocked.”

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“Had school personnel locked the doors as the school’s policy required, that could have slowed his (the attacker's) progress … long enough to receive alerts, hide children, and lock doors,” the report said.

The report also cites issues with school door maintenance and keys.

A fourth-grade teacher in Room 111, the classroom investigators believe the attacker carried out his rampage, testified that “teachers and students knew that the door to his classroom frequently did not lock.”

“The problem with locking the door had been reported to school administration, yet no one placed a written work order for a repair,” the committee noted.

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The school also had an alert system to notify teachers in emergencies. But according to the report, when the principal tried to use an app to notify the school, she “had difficulty making the alert because of a bad wi-fi signal.”

Also, “she never tried to communicate the lockdown over the school’s intercom.”

As a result, not all teachers received timely notice of the lockdown, including the teacher in Room 111.

The committee said in its report that Robb had “a culture of noncompliance with safety policies specifically requiring doors to be kept locked, which turned out to be fatal.”

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