A Mississippi second-grader who brought a BB-gun to school on Thursday has caused parents to lash out at the school's administration for its handling of the incident.
Gulfport School District officials are working hard to dispel the rumors swirling around the Thursday incident that occurred when a 2nd grade student brought a BB-gun to class at the Bayou View Elementary School in Mississippi, according to the Sun Herald. After a fellow student reported to a teacher that the student in question was carrying a gun clip — which was later discovered to be a BB-gun clip — in a pocket, the teacher confiscated the clip and the student's backpack, called a school administrator and found the BB-gun. The student was suspended after the incident.
Although district spokesperson MC Price Barton praised the teacher's handling the alarming incident in accordance with district policy, many parents criticized the school for its failure to communicate the situation to them, the Sun Herald reported.
"My problem with the whole thing is that I wasn't told," said parent Kasey Gannon, according to WLOX-TV. "My eight year old had this happen around him, in his classroom and with his friends. I, as a parent, did not have an opportunity to speak with him or to teach him that this is not what we do, this is not okay and this is not how things are to be handled."
"To have to learn about this on Facebook, or hear it from a small child, is a little bit alarming," grandmother Bunny Isgett-Lynn added, according to WLOX.
Gulfport Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mike Tatum maintained that if the gun in question had actually been a real gun, the school would have issued a lock-down immediately and notified the parents, according to WLOX. But after acknowledging the parents' concerns, Tatum conceded that "[they] will do a better job of communication" in the future.
"We're not asking for anybody to be on administrative leave, anybody to quit, anybody to get fired. We're not asking for any of that. All we're asking for is our right to know the specific details of what has happened," said Parent Teacher Association vice president Rebecca Clark, according to WLOX. "The school should have protocol for how a crisis was dealt with. Posting it on social media, or a news outlet online, is in my mind a very immature, uneducated decision."
Barton said that the incident remains under investigation.
"We're very proud of the administration and teachers for how they handled the situation," Barton said, according to the Sun Herald. "Of course, it is scary that we have a 2nd-grader bringing a gun to school. We're encouraging parents to continue to have the conversations with their students to report suspicious activity."
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