With raised voices and concerned tones, dozens of parents wanted answers at a meeting Thursday night. That meeting came after a loaded gun was brought to Rosa Taylor Elementary School by a student Wednesday.
“When I send my son to school in the morning, he’s at school, I don’t normally worry about him, except for today (Thursday),” Holly Westmoreland said. “I was a nervous wreck all day long.”
She and other parents came to air concerns, grievances, and questions about the district's handling of the incident.
“Tighten up security, actually search the kids, for the kids' safety, and for them to communicate with us better, because a lot of us didn’t receive the phone call,” Andranee Shannon said.
The district tried to answer each question, but some responses weren't what parents wanted to hear. Chief investigator for campus police Corey Goble says after preliminary investigation, they don’t think the student intended to use the gun.
“What we suspect is that it was a kind of show-and-tell type thing,” Goble said. “Unfortunately, he chose to do that in a school.”
The district doesn’t want it to happen again, and neither do the parents. A few requested metal detectors, while others want each child to be searched every day. Westmoreland thinks the easiest solution could be changing the student's backpacks.
“Maybe until everybody can get plastic book bags, no book bags," Westmoreland said. “The kids, Weber (her son), anyway, he doesn't have any books he can bring home anyway.”
One thing they all agree on is that something needs to be done.
“This is something that needs to be dealt with immediately, not months down the road,” Westmoreland said.
Stephanie Hartley with Bibb Schools says the district plans to start random bag searches immediately.
The district also advises parents to contact their child's school to update emergency contact information so they can send emergency messages when they need to.