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Leaked Video of Uvalde Shooting Shows Cops Fist Bump, Sparks Outrage From Families

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Uvalde’s mayor slammed the leak as “one of the most chicken things I’ve seen,” while The Statesman defended itself, saying, “We have to bear witness to history.”


Video Reveals What Happened

The Austin American Statesman has released footage for the first time showing the law enforcement response to the Uvalde massacre.

The video begins with the shooter crashing his truck near Robb Elementary, with two men approaching the wreckage, then running away.

Next, an unidentified teacher talks to 911 on a phone, saying, “the kids are running,” then yells at children to get into their classrooms.

Around this time, the shooter fired at the school from the parking lot.

When he enters the school, the video shows a child exiting the bathroom to return to class and running away after the shooter fires at him. He hid in the bathroom and was later rescued.

The shooter subsequently enters the first classroom and begins the massacre, at which point The Statesman said it censored audio of children screaming.

Police have said that he fired about 100 rounds in roughly two and a half minutes.

Nearly three minutes after the shooting begins, the video captures the first officers arriving on the scene, with some rushing toward the shooter and others peering around the corner.

Gunshots are heard booming throughout the hall, after which the officers who rushed forward retreat back toward the school’s entrance. They spent nearly 77 minutes waiting in the hallway for keys to open the classroom doors, which investigators later determined were never locked, despite hearing at least four more gunshots inside the classrooms 45 minutes after they arrived.

The video next shows around a dozen officers advancing toward the classrooms with one heard saying, “They’re making entry,” but no entry was immediately made.

Nine minutes later, one officer can be seen squirting some soap from a hand sanitizer dispenser into his hands.

Another officer is apparently using his phone, and two more fist-bump each other.

Investigators are still waiting for an Austin-based medical expert’s analysis to determine how many victims died after the first officers arrived.

Although much of the blame for the slow response has been directed toward School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo, the video shows numerous agencies on the scene, including the Uvalde Police Department, Uvalde County sheriff’s department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers, U.S. Border Patrol, and U.S. Marshals Service.

Families Outraged at Video Leak

Some of the victims’ family members expressed anger Wednesday at the leak, publication, and circulation of the footage.

“Whoever leaked that video… I pray that you never have to deal with what all the parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles are dealing with. Shame on you,” one family member said at a press conference in Washington DC.

At a town council meeting, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin called the leak “one of the most chicken things I’ve seen.”

“They didn’t need to see the gunman coming in and hear the gunshots,” he said. “They don’t need to relive that, they’ve been through enough.”

A state senate panel had originally planned to show the video to relatives of the victims on Sunday.

Others expressed some support for the video’s publication.

“I am happy it is released. But I wish they would have waited until the family members got to see it beforehand,” Jesse Rizo, who lost a family member in the shooting, told local CBS affiliate KENS5.

The Statesman released a statement explaining why it opted to publish the footage.

“Our goal is to continue to bring to light what happened at Robb Elementary, which the families and friends of the Uvalde victims have long been asking for,” the statement said.

“We have to bear witness to history, and transparency and unrelenting reporting is a way to bring change.”

We make it a point to not include the names and pictures of those who may have been seeking attention or infamy and will not link out to websites that might contain such information.

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Thousands of Teacher Jobs Remain Unfilled as Schools Brace for New Semester

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has controversially permitted military veterans with very few qualifications to become K-12 teachers.


A Shortage Turns Into a Crisis

As the 2022-2023 academic year imminently approaches, school districts are desperately trying to retain and hire teachers amid a nationwide shortage, and some are calling the situation a crisis.

In Florida, where schooling in most districts is set to begin on August 10, about 9,000 teaching positions are still open.

The faculty who remain are preparing to take on a heavier burden of work than usual.

“Teachers are working wall to wall every day because of the coverage that they get,” Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association President Rob Kriet told Fox News. “They don’t get to go to the bathroom even. The minute they get there to the minute they leave, they’re working with kids. That’s not really sustainable and that’s not in our students’ best interests.”

In Nevada, the State Education Association has estimated that nearly 3,000 jobs are unfilled across all 17 school districts.

Moreover, the five largest school districts in the Houston area have reported between 200 and 1,000 teaching vacancies.

Carlton Jenkins, superintendent of the Madison Metropolitan School District in Wisconsin, told The Washington Post the shortages have gotten so urgent that superintendents across the country have developed a whisper network to match teachers with schools.

“We’re at a point right now, where if I have people who want to move to California, I call up and give a reference very quick,” they said. “And if someone is coming from another place — say, Minnesota — I have superintendent colleagues in Minnesota, they call and say, ‘Hey, I have teachers coming your way.’”

Experts pin the blame for the shortage on several factors, including pandemic-induced stress, burnout and low pay.

Some also believe teachers felt attacked and disrespected by parents, politicians and even school boards as Republican officials have thrust education into the political fray in recent months.

Conservatives in many states have moved to limit discussion of certain subjects such as gender identity, sexuality, and race in the classroom.

Some Creative, or Bizarre, Solutions

Many schools have devised incentives to attract more teachers, with the primary one being higher pay.

Nevada has bumped its starting teacher salary up by $7,000 plus a $4,000 “relocation bonus” for teachers outside the state or more than 100 miles away.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis approved an education budget that included $800 million for teacher pay raises this year.

In another move many have criticized, DeSantis passed a law allowing military veterans who served for at least four years to teach K-12 education.

The veterans are not required to have bachelor’s degrees, but they must have at least 60 college credits and a GPA of at least 2.5.

Arizona similarly lowered the bar for new faculty, allowing college students to take teaching jobs in the state.

More commonly, schools are planning to increase class sizes and/or deploy administrators with little or no pedagogical experience as teachers, with both of these policies expected to reduce the quality of education for students.

Some schools, such as those in certain areas of Kansas, Missouri and Texas, have implemented a four-day workweek to ease teachers’ exhaustion.

Sometimes, students are still required to attend five days per week, with teachers rotating their schedules so that some faculty are present each day.

Other schools limit the week to just four days for both teachers and students, but lengthen the days to compensate for the missing fifth.

About 660 schools in 24 states had a four-day workweek before the pandemic, according to the Brookings Institution.

That number had increased sixfold from 1999

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (KCTV) (Fox News)

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Young Children in Florida Struggle to Find Vaccines as BA.5 Drives COVID Spikes

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The access problems are driven by Florida Gov. DeSantis’ decision to prohibit state programs and county health departments from distributing vaccines to children five and under.


Child Vaccine Distribution Restrictions

One month after the Food and Drug Administration authorized COVID vaccines for kids between six months and five years old, parents in Florida are still struggling to access shots for their young children because of restrictions imposed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

When the shots were first approved, DeSantis warned parents against them and spread misinformation about their essential protections, claiming that they had not been sufficiently tested and trialed.

The governor did say that he would not stand in the way of parents who did want to vaccinate their children, but that promise appeared to be empty,

DeSantis soon earned the reputation of the only governor who refused to let pediatricians and healthcare providers pre-order the vaccines. He also took his efforts a step further, even going as far as to block state programs and county health departments from distributing or administering the COVID vaccinations.

According to a recent report by The Washington Post, the intentional failure to pre-order and lack of state involvement have created a ton of problems. Pediatrician’s offices have vaccine waitlists that are weeks long, doctors that have gotten doses are getting calls from parents who live hundreds of miles away, and some families are even considering going to other states to vaccinate their kids.

Although doctor’s offices and hospitals are working hard to get the job done, there are still serious barriers to access, especially for children in underserved communities, poor families, and rural areas.

Those groups traditionally depend on county health clinics for vaccination, but DeSantis has blocked those clinics from administering doses. Small and rural pediatrician offices that lack cold storage or minimum dose ordering requirements also rely on the county departments to provide them with vaccines.

BA.5 Variant Drives New Surges

The ongoing struggle for Florida parents trying to protect their young children also comes amid a concerning nationwide spike in coronavirus cases largely driven by the Omicron BA.5 subvariant, which experts consider the most transmissible strain of the entire pandemic.

Most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that BA.5 now makes up two out of every three new infections. 

According to The New York Times, cases are on the rise in the vast majority of states — at least 40. Both new infections and hospitalizations have risen 20% in the last two weeks. Florida is among the top 5 states with the highest number of cases per 100,000 residents in the last seven days.

While experts say that the strain appears to more easily infect people who were recently vaccinated or recovered from COVID, the strain is not more severe than previous versions of Omicron, and vaccinations are still the best tool to protect against severe illness and death.

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Times) (CNN)

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Investigative Report, Body Cam Footage Reveal Damning Details from Uvalde Police Response

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A total of 367 law enforcement officials responded to the shooting from several different local, state, and federal agencies.


Report Indicts Law Enforcement Response

An “overall lackadaisical approach” plagued by leadership confusion, communication breakdown, and system errors delayed the law enforcement response to the Uvalde massacre by over an hour, according to a 77-page preliminary report released by a Texas House investigative committee released on Sunday.

Ever since an 18-year-old gunman entered Robb Elementary and killed 19 fourth graders and two teachers on May 24, victims’ families have demanded answers and been met with authorities’ reluctant release of information.

“Law enforcement responders failed to adhere to their active shooter training, and they failed to prioritize saving innocent lives over their own safety,” the report said.

The shooter fired approximately 142 rounds inside the school, with at least 100 of those almost certainly occurring before police arrived, it added.

First responders lost “critical momentum” because they treated the gunman as a “barricaded subject” rather than an active shooter, leading them to take a slower, more methodical approach.

“Correcting this error should have sparked greater urgency to immediately breach the classroom by any possible means, to subdue the attacker, and to deliver immediate aid,” the report states.

Although much of the blame since the shooting has been directed toward Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo, the report aims its critique at every local, state, and federal agency present that day, saying no one assumed command of the situation despite the fact that 367 law enforcement officials arrived on the scene.

That resulted in some officers expressing a desire to enter the classroom but seeming unsure about who was in charge.

The report notes that Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training “teaches that any law enforcement officer can assume command, that somebody must assume command, and that an incident commander can transfer responsibility as an incident develops.”

The commander of a Border Patrol tactical team reportedly chose to wait for a bulletproof shield and a master key before entering the classroom, despite the door being unlocked, according to investigators.

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin has launched an investigation to determine whether Lieutenant Mariano Pargas, who was the city’s acting police chief during the shooting, should have taken command of the scene. Pargas has been placed on administrative leave for the time being.

The report also faults issues with Robb Elementary itself, saying that poor WiFi likely delayed the lockdown alert after the shooting began.

Not all teachers immediately received the alert, it adds, and the school’s intercom was not used to communicate.

Additionally, the building’s doors and locks reportedly suffered from “recurring problems,” with the locking mechanism in Room 111, one of two where the shooting took place, having been widely known to be faulty yet never repaired.

The school also reportedly had a culture of noncompliance with safety policies requiring doors to be locked.

“There is no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives. Instead, we found systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making,” the report continued.

But the investigators added that it is not their job to recommend anyone be held accountable, leaving it to each law enforcement agency to determine that.

Body Cameras Show Police Inaction

Uvalde released around three hours of body camera footage to the press on Sunday, showing that many officers knew children were still alive in the classroom with the shooter, yet they failed to enter.

“Dude, we gotta get in there,” staff sergeant Eduardo Canales can be heard saying. “He’s still shooting. We gotta get in there.”

As minutes pass by with no direct confrontation between shooter and police, the officers’ sense of urgency appears to fade, and footage shows them hunkered down waiting for more backup.

As more gunshots are heard from inside the classroom and more heavily armed officers arrive on scene, Arredondo waited for keys to the room which investigators say was unlocked. He can also be seen on video struggling to unlock a nearby classroom that the shooter was not inside of.

“What are we doing here?” one officer asked 20 minutes after law enforcement arrived at the school.

“People are gonna ask why we’re taking so long,” another said nearly an hour later.

About 30 minutes after the shooting began, Uvalde police sergeant Daniel Coronado’s body cam shows him breaking a classroom window from outside the school and pulling kids out alongside other officers.

More than 12 minutes later, the footage shows Arredondo trying to negotiate with the shooter.

“Can you let me know if there’s any kids in there or anything?” The police chief shouts. “This could be peaceful. Could you tell me your name, anything I can know please?”

Moments later, a dispatcher can be heard telling officers via radio that a child had called 911 from the “room full of victims.”

Some officers react to the information with concern, but none enter the classroom.

At least six more minutes pass without officers engaging the shooter, then more gunshots are heard from inside the classroom.

Still, Arredondo attempts to negotiate with the gunman again, saying, “Sir, if you can hear me, please put your firearm down sir. We don’t want anybody else hurt.”

About 30 minutes later, officers finally enter the classroom and kill the gunman.

We make it a point to not include the names and pictures of those who may have been seeking attention or infamy and will not link out to websites that might contain such information.

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