School Gun Incident Revealed Hours Later, Parents Frustrated

Some Parents in Calhoun County say staff members at Saint Matthews K-8....did not notify them quickly enough that a student brought a gun to school.

Calhoun County, SC (WLTX) - Some parents in Calhoun County say staff members at Saint Matthews K-8 did not notify them quickly enough that a student brought a gun to school. 

Previous Coverage: Calhoun County Student Pointed Unloaded Gun at Classmates, Deputies Say

"It's a 25 caliber semiautomatic," said Calhoun County Sheriff Thomas Summers.
 
Summers is talking about the gun a school resource officer found in a 14-year-old student's pocket at Saint Matthews K-8. 
 
"He took it into the bathroom and maybe in an attempt to show it, pointed it at other students," Summers says.
 
Students told a teacher, and the school resource officer took him into the office.
 
"At that point the student broke free and ran, and we were able to catch him a short time later," Summers said.
 
Multiple parents called News 19 frustrated, saying they didn't hear from the school about the incident until around 6pm that night, if at all.
 
"I personally didn't hear the automated message," said Donte Goodwine.
 
Goodwine has a young daughter who goes to the school.
 
The student has been recommended for expulsion
 
"She's 5-years-old," Goodwine said.
 
He says hours later, is hours too late.
 
"As soon as they found out and had the child in custody they should've been making calls," Goodwine said.
 
"We notify parents once we ascertain the accurate information," said George Kiernan, a public information officer at Calhoun County Public Schools.
 
Goodwine says that's not good enough.
 
"As far as the communication part goes I think there's some gaps in that that needs to be bridged," Goodwine said.
 
We asked Kiernan if there was a better way for parents to be notified, he said he could not answer at this point.
 
"We're concerned about our kids when they go to school," Goodwine said. "Especially when a gun is involved, we need to know as soon as possible."
 
We emailed Calhoun County superintendent Dr. Steve Wilson about the parents concerns regarding how long it took to be notified, and asked if there's a better way to notify parents. We did not get a response.
 

 

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