Parents Respond To Middle School Gun Incident

Thursday, April 19th 2007, 8:31 pm
By: News On 6

Parents sound off about a scary situation at a Tulsa middle school. An 8th grader is arrested for bringing a gun to Byrd Middle School. News that a kid had a gun in class, just days after the worst school shooting in our nation's history, has many parents on edge, but the News On 6’s Ashli Sims reports Byrd Middle School leaders say they don't believe students were in any danger.

“The kids aren't safe anywhere these days, and you just know that they've got to be here, but you're concerned about their safety," said parent Julie Foster.

Fear rippled throughout the Byrd middle school parking lot as parents learned of the gun scare. Authorities say an eighth grader brought a small handgun to school and had it on him in class. They say another student spotted the weapon and gave the teacher a note.

“With the tremendous peer pressure that we have today that kids face, that can't be understated, this kid was truly a hero in coming forward and reporting the weapon at school," said dean of students Graden Napier.

The gun was unloaded, but bullets were later found in the student's locker. The thirteen-year-old left school in handcuffs and will be suspended for a full calendar year. Officials say the situation was handled quickly and quietly, but students say the word spread.

"A lot of people went home,” said Victor, a Byrd eighth grader. “Mothers came and got their kids because they were scared and didn't know what was going on."

This student says his mother was very distraught.

"My mom came up to the front desk and she saw me and started crying because she thought something bad had happened to me or something like that," said Victor.

School leaders call it a textbook security operation, and in a letter to parents, the principal says students were not in any danger, but some parents still have questions.

"We had been told by the oldest that they were installing metal detectors, and wonder how or if they stopped using them, how the kid got the gun to school," said parent Lynisa Paris.

A spokesperson for Tulsa Public Schools says there are handheld metal detectors at every middle school. They randomly screen students, and the principal decides how often that happens. TPS says so far this year, two other students have been suspended for bringing weapons to school.

Related story:

4/19/2007 13-Year-Old Arrested For Bringing A Gun To School

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