Some parents are upset that they got letters instead of immediate notification after a first grader brought an unloaded gun to a Flint-area school.
The Flint Journal reports the student showed the gun inside a backpack to another student Monday morning at Dye Elementary School in Genesee County's Flint Township. Officials say the other student told a teacher, the backpack was confiscated and police were called.
Steven Tunnicliff, Superintendent of Carman-Ainsworth Community schools said, "It's pretty clear to us and township police that they had the gun, confiscated by the police, no doubt of student safety or staff safety. The district's first goal is to address that situation and at that point, no other students were negatively impacted, and we continued throughout the rest of school day. A principal and counselor did meet with students in the classroom, even before lunch time and made them aware they could talk with anyone."
Tunnicliff made it clear that the school district ensures a safe environment and that letters were sent home in sealed envelopes with students at the end of the day. The school also left voicemails to inform parents to look for a letter of explanation.
Tunnicliff went on to say, "Obviously if we felt there was a safety concern for students or staff, then the protocol would have been different in terms, of a shelter, lock down and contacting parents. The situation was addressed immediately, and there were no safety concerns. It was a very unfortunate and poor decision, but luckily the handgun was not loaded, with no safety issues at that point.
Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools defended the decision to send a letter, saying officials "were able to determine we had a safe environment very, very quickly." The principal and a counselor also directly contacted parents with students in the classroom involved.
No one was injured.
Jennie Stein has three children attending Dye Elementary and said parents should have been made aware of the situation immediately.
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