The Morehouse Parish School Board is investigating and plans a change in protocol after a third grade student reportedly brought a gun to Morehouse Magnet School.
“It was reported that the student came to school and in first period they showed the gun to two other children,” said Child Welfare and Attendance Supervisor Ralph Davenport who was sent to investigate. “Reportedly the student then asked to go to the restroom, and one of the children told the teacher about the gun.”
The teacher confiscated the gun, took the child to the office, and the police and the child's parents were called. It has been confirmed that the gun was not loaded, and no threats were issued by the child. The child has been suspended pending a hearing.
Some parents were upset, because they were never notified of the situation. Superintendent David Gray explained this was due to various circumstances.
“I was out, Mr. Davenport was out, and the principal was out,” he said.
He conceded, however, that the parents should have been contacted.
“Everything was handled appropriately as far as dealing with the child, but informing parents was where the ball was dropped,” he commented.
Superintendent Gray has plans to train faculty and rework protocol so that situations like this can be better handled if they occur.
“We are going to do training with faculty,” he said. “This week all principals will have faculty meetings to discuss how to deal with these situations.”
Superintendent Gray noted that new protocol is also being put into place.
“The first person to be contacted in these situations is the principal,” he said. “They should contact the school resource officer and if they are unavailable the principal will deal with the situation themselves.”
He also noted that any time someone is thought to have a gun the situation will be taken seriously until proven otherwise.
“Even if it is a kindergartener it is to be taken seriously,” he explained.
As part of the protocol they will also make sure to notify parents as soon as possible if an incident such as this occurs.
Currently they are continuing the investigation, and further evaluation of protocol is ongoing.