Uvalde Teacher Says She Was “Scapegoat” in Providing Shooter Access to Building

A teacher from Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, recently spoke to ABC News about her experience during the May 24 shooting that left 19 students and two adults dead. Emilia “Amy” Marin served as an afterschool program coordinator and had only been at the school for a month at the time of the shooting. She said that when she heard gunshots, she closed an exterior door, called 911 and alerted people within the building, according to ABC News.

Three days later, one of the top police officials in Texas blamed her for leaving a door propped open, allowing the shooter access to the building. “The teacher runs to the room, 132, to retrieve a phone, and that same teacher walks back to the exit door and the door remains propped open,” said Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said during a news conference.

Law enforcement issued a retraction of the statement days later. DPS told ABC News this week, “DPS corrected this error in public announcements and testimony and apologizes to the teacher and her family for the additional grief this has caused to an already horrific situation.”

For Marin, however, the damage was already done. She said that the trauma of the shooting itself, on top of the false accusations of providing the shooter access to the building, took a severe toll on her mental and emotional health. She said that she now has a stutter and suffers from tremors, and friends and family say that her personality has changed.

“I am suffering mentally, of course, emotionally,” she told ABC News. “I still don’t sleep.”

Marin said that on the morning of the shooting, she saw the shooter’s vehicle crash and saw him scale a school fence holding a rifle, as well as heard the sound of gunshots. She said that she kicked away a rock she’d been using to prop open an exterior door and made sure that the door closed behind her.

Marin also said that after watching the press conference days later, she felt “vilified” and hired a lawyer. She told ABC News that she felt she had been made a “scapegoat” for the tragedy.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning and Campus Security and Life Safety. He can be reached at MJones@1105media.com