District can learn from recent events

Published 7:49 pm Saturday, December 19, 2015

Some Lawrence County parents are understandably upset that a student brought a gun to school and they weren’t notified.

A student reportedly brought a gun to Lawrence County High School Dec. 4, according to media reports. The gun was confiscated and picked up by police Dec. 7.

“The gun was locked away, loaded in the principal’s office the whole weekend,” parent Cathy Clark told WJTV. ”It wasn’t picked up until that Monday, so we have a problem.”

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Some parents have said they didn’t know the gun incident occurred until several days later.

“I didn’t like it that it took so long for parents to find out about it,” Pamela Butler told WJTV. “I think we as parents should’ve been notified, so we’d know what we were dealing with. I just don’t think the situation was handled correctly.”

The student who brought the gun to school was reportedly expelled.

Just recently, a gun scare led the school to initiate its crisis response plan, according to Superintendent Tammy Fairburn. Sheriff Joel Thames said his department investigated a “rumor of a threat” on social media.

That’s enough to rattle most parents, and they are right to be upset about not being notified about the early December incident. When it comes to a gun at school, parents deserve to know the basics of what happened. They need to know if their child was potentially in danger. Not informing parents gives the impression the school district was hoping to sweep it under the rug.

More than likely, these are incidents that Lawrence County wasn’t accustomed to dealing with. Hopefully, the school district will learn from these experiences and create policies to better inform parents when events like this occur.