Superintendent’s Gun Found By Student In School Restroom

Once parents realized that a third-grade youngster discovered his rifle left in an elementary school bathroom in January, a Texas superintendent resigned this week.

In response to worries about school safety, several lawmakers pushed for arming more teachers and administrators in schools before the tragedy. It serves as a sharp reminder that having firearms on school property may be dangerous, especially when they are handled carelessly.

The principal of the school and I openly carry firearms on campus, according to Robby Stuteville, the superintendent of the Rising Star Independent school system, who spoke to the local news station KTAB.

According to the superintendent in an interview with the channel on February 16, the third-grader discovered the gun that Stuteville had placed in a lavatory stall in January and quickly reported it to a teacher without touching the weapon. He claimed that the weapon had been left unattended for around 15 minutes.

“There was never a danger other than the obvious,”  In addition, Stuteville informed KTAB that he was pleased with the way the student handled the situation.

After a May 24 elementary school shooting in Uvalde killed 19 children and two adults, Texas lawmakers considered arming teachers. State officials found that a delayed and poor law-enforcement response made that shooting more fatal.

On its homepage, Rising Star ISD warns, “Be advised that Rising Star ISD will take any means necessary to protect our students and staff.”

After parents complained at a Feb. 16 hearing that they weren’t alerted of the event, the district’s school board will discuss Stuteville’s resignation on Thursday. A father who moved his family from Uvalde to Rising Star schools claimed that a teacher urged his son to “check whether it’s a genuine gun” after his friend reported the weapon.

Texas has seen rounds of debates over arming educators

Superintendent's Gun Found By Student In School Restroom
Superintendent’s Gun Found By Student In School Restroom

Texas enables school districts to approve staff members carrying weapons, giving local officials some latitude over regulations governing things like storage and training.

“We have to harden these targets so that no one can get in ever except through one entrance,” After the shooting in Uvalde, Republican Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick made a statement on Fox News. “Maybe that would help. Maybe that would stop someone.”

At least 28 states, including Texas, allow armed school workers. Regulations encompass training, eligibility, and weapons storage. After the 2018 Parkland High School shooting, Florida lawmakers mandated that every school have an armed adult—a police officer or a trained non-teaching staff member called a “guardian.”

The RAND Corporation, which studies gun regulations, found no conclusive data on the effects of armed school workers on a variety of outcomes, including unintended injuries and deaths.

Arming educators can discourage attacks and help rural districts with slower law enforcement response times, according to lawmakers.

School shooters have targeted campuses with visible police. The Uvalde shooter evaded even highly skilled cops from numerous agencies for an hour.

Some school safety experts have warned that armed instructors might mislead law authorities in emergencies, endanger pupils if they don’t properly handle guns, and detract from more pressing safety issues like lockdown procedures.

“I strongly oppose arming school staff. Period” said Ohio-based school safety expert Kenneth Trump. “I’ve always held that it’s a high-risk, high-liability proposition.”

Opponents warn of mishandled guns in schools

During the past five years, there have been over 100 publicly recorded instances of guns being handled improperly at schools, according to the Giffords Law Center, a group that advocates for stricter legal restrictions on the possession of firearms.

“Keeping kids safe means keeping guns off K-12 campuses,”  said the organization’s database, which was last updated in July. Data on student access to guns, accidental discharges, improper handling of weapons during disciplinary situations, and use of weapons during “times of stress or personal conflict.” is collected.

A Georgia student discovered a gun in a purse a driver had left unattended on his school bus. Another incident involved a loaded gun that fell out of a substitute teacher’s waistband while they were performing a cartwheel for students at a Florida elementary school. These are just a few examples. One involved an off-duty Illinois police officer who left his gun in a restroom while serving as a school security guard.

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Whether the armed staff is responsible with guns or not, it’s crucial that districts with such programs don’t become sidetracked from other crucial safety concerns, like making sure their emergency response procedures are efficient, according to Trump.

And regardless of whether their staff is armed or not, the incident provides a teaching opportunity for all district leaders, he added.

“You can handle an [safety] incident perfectly, but if you mess up on the communication, it costs you your credibility with your school community,” Trump said. “Parents want genuine, authentic, and transparent leadership and communication.”


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