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    Parents say they are uneasy after gun found in 3-year-old’s backpack

    By Carissa Codel,


    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – After a loaded gun was found in a three-year-old’s backpack at a Springfield school , the district says it’s working to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

    Late Tuesday morning, a teacher found the gun at Mallory Early Childhood Center.

    School officials tell OzarksFirst the child didn’t know the weapon was in the bag but many parents are feeling uneasy.

    “I cannot even comprehend my child being in a classroom potentially with a loaded gun,” said Samantha Sellers.

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    Parents say they weren’t notified of the incident until after they had picked up their kids for the day, in an email sent shortly before 12:30.

    “I don’t know if it would have made it better to know in the moment, but I feel like they should have the capability to send out a mass email sooner or even a text message or a call,” Sellers said.

    Sellers says when she picked up her three-year-old son yesterday from Mallory Early Childhood Center, no one mentioned that a gun had been found until later in the day.

    “We are committed to sharing as much as possible and doing that in a timely manner, especially when safety and security is really at the heart of the issue,” said Stephen Hall, the Chief Communications Officer for SPS.

    Hall says the weapon was not brought to school with the intention to harm others.

    “This is a shocking occurrence,” Hall said. “And the good news in all of this is that everyone is safe, that our staff responded according to their training.”

    Sellers tells me she felt the need to pull her son out of school for the rest of the summer.

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    “The teachers and staff there, it has absolutely nothing to do with them whatsoever,” Sellers said. “I can’t handle the thought of that happening again. I mean, it technically can happen anywhere.”

    Sellers says this incident did start a conversation with her oldest son but it’s difficult with her preschooler.

    “It’s so hard because my child is nonverbal and autistic,” Sellers said. “He’s 3 years old. He doesn’t understand. I don’t think he’s ever seen a pretend gun, much less a handgun. And so it’s really hard to even educate him on something that he doesn’t completely understand or comprehend.”

    SPS says their police department is handling the investigation and they have placed a hotline call to the children’s division.

    Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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