UVALDE, Texas — This week marks six months since the Robb Elementary shooting in Uvalde.
That milestone falls on Thanksgiving, the first major holiday 21 families will celebrate without the students and teachers they loved.
The deaths of 19 students and two teachers reignited a national conversation about school safety and security, guns and mental health. But what has actually changed in the community of Uvalde?
The most visible answer is the new fencing around Uvalde’s schools. Uvalde CISD is also working on installing camera systems and secure entrances at its campuses.
But the district is undergoing far more changes. The man who headed up the district when the shooting happened has since retired. Dr. Hal Harrell has taken on the title of Superintendent Emeritus while Interim Superintendent Gary Patterson officially took over on Nov. 1.
The district fired its police chief, Pete Arredondo, in August. Two months later, the board voted to suspend the remaining UCISD officers. DPS troopers have since assumed school security duties.
The district introduced its new interim police chief, Joshua Gutierrez, a week ago and just a day before the man who held that title for the city of Uvalde stepped down on May 24. That’s Lt. Mariano Pargas, who was also re-elected as Uvalde County Commissioner on Nov. 8, a position he still holds.
Arredondo, who voters chose to be a Uvalde City Councilor, resigned from his seat.
The biggest change is still to come. The district plans to build a new $50 million school and demolish Robb Elementary.
What it can’t erase is the memory forever tied to that name – whether or not its now-unforgettable sign remains.