A state senator said Sunday that the federal government may move to tear down Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and replace it with a new campus.
Texas State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, the Democrat representing Uvalde, said President Joe Biden told him the White House was “going to tear down that school, build a new one.” Biden and First Lady Jill Biden visited Uvalde on Sunday to mourn with the families affected after the shootings of 19 children and two teachers at the school on Tuesday.
An emotional Gutierrez said he was working with the White House through a federal grant process to rebuild the school.
“There’s a federal grant process for this,” he told KSAT, a local TV station, on Sunday. “That’s the sad part, there’s a federal protocol for schools like Columbine and others, where they give you [millions to rebuild]… What kind of world are we living in, the law was made to break these schools. it makes no sense.”
The local legislator said he was looking to secure funding for mental health facilities in Uvalde, adding that he “can’t tell you how many young kids I’ve talked to who don’t want to go back to that building. ”
“We’re going to get real money for mental health care,” he said. “This is a community that needs therapy. Uvalde has one psychiatrist, very few mental health practitioners. We’re going to change that. It’s very urgent.”
Schools such as Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, were torn down and rebuilt after mass shootings, while others, including Columbine High School in Colorado, have resisted calls to do so.
Gutierrez, along with other Democrats, has called on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to convene a special legislative session to weigh new gun control measures, including universal background checks and a minimum age to buy a firearm from 18 to 21. Includes an extension. , among others. On Friday, Gutierrez interrupted a press conference Abbott held after the shooting
“We have to do something, man,” Gutierrez said. “Just call us back.”
Abbott, along with many top Republicans, have dismissed common sense gun control efforts.
“There isn’t a hunter in Texas who uses these types of weapons,” Gutierrez later told The Texas Tribune. “And so I’m not saying let’s do away with those types of weapons, I’m saying we should have some more access restrictions. … When you have an 18-year-old’s hand on a weapon like this Yes, it means nothing to me.