FLINT TWP. (WWJ/AP) - 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 student showed the small-caliber 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.
Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools' superintendent Steve Tunncliff 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.
"There was no question in my mind or the township police that we had a safe situation," he said.
Three investigations are currently under way by police, school officials and protective services, Tunncliff said. No one was injured.
Jennie Stein has three children attending Dye Elementary and said parents should have been made aware of the situation immediately. She said the school did a "very poor job of informing parents" and the notification was "not acceptable" given the situation.
"We just got a phone call that said they were sending some important information in a letter in the students' backpack," Stein said. "We did not receive a phone call until after 4 p.m. They just threw the letter in the backpack and told the parents to find out when they got home."
Tunncliff said he understood the parents' concerns, but noted that the situation was under immediately under control. He said the school makes a point to constantly discuss safety issues with students, urging them to keep adults informed if they see or hear anything unsafe.
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