Parents concerned over lack of communication

Staff Writer
AMORY – According to authorities, an 11-year old male was arrested Wednesday morning for possession of a gun at East Amory Elementary School. The gun, a 9 mm hand gun, was reportedly fully loaded. The youth was arrested without incident and is being processed through the Monroe County Youth Courts.
According to some concerned parents, East Amory Principal Brian Jones said the arrest was amp”an isolated incident that was handled in the best possible manner.amp”
Classes were not disrupted Wednesday after the arrest.
amp”We received the call at 8:18 a.m. on Wednesday morning,amp” Amory Police Chief Ronnie Bowen said. amp”The child had the gun on the bus and had shown it to other students and had shown it to someone on the school grounds. The gun was in a backpack. One of the students that had seen the gun reported it to a teacher.
After arresting the suspect, he was put under the supervision of the Monroe County Youth Courts. He was transferred to the juvenile holding facility in Lee County where he remained pending a hearing on Friday.
amp”I do not think that the student had any intentions of hurting anyone, but was fascinated with a weapon. We are certainly thankful no one was hurt. Our officers and the school handled the situation in a very admirable manner,amp” Bowen said.
The situation, however, has some parents concerned.
amp”Even though my daughter was not at school that day (she was not feeling well that morning) it still concerns me,amp” parent Melissa Gaskin said. amp”Why would this young child bring a loaded gun to school with an extra clip? What did he have on his mind? My husband and I talked about it and I am still in shock about it. You never think anything like that would happen in small town Amory. It is just hitting too close for comfort. Now I know how some parents felt during Columbine and Virginia Tech. It’s scary.amp”
Another parent, Clarissa Williamson, said she feels the school should have notified the parents.
amp”I have two children that attend East Amory Elementary School, and I just wanted to let you know that East Amory Elementary School and the Amory School District did not let parents know about the little boy bringing a gun to school,amp” she said. amp”The comment made by Mr. Jones about letting parents know that this was an ‘isolated incident’ might be true for the parents who found out about the incident before it was on the news, but not for the parents that did not question the matter. I only found out this morning when watching the news. I find it very irresponsible of the Amory School District to not even send so much as a note home to let parents know that it did happen, and to let us know that the little boy supposedly had no ill intentions.
amp”It should be a parent’s right to know when something like this happens at their child’s school, and it should come from the school rather than from the media.amp”

Jeff Clark

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