A Texas school board is accepting the resignation of its superintendent after a third-grader found his gun in a bathroom stall. Robby Stuteville, superintendent of Rising Star Independent School District, was one of two district employees who started carrying a handgun on campus at the beginning of the school year in accordance with state law. Although no one was hurt in the incident last month at Rising Star Elementary School, Stuteville submitted his resignation after parents raised concerns at a board meeting last week, with many saying they were upset they weren’t immediately notified about the incident, learning of it only weeks later, reports the Washington Post.
The mishap has drawn scrutiny across the U.S. about campus safety measures amid a growing number of gun violence incidents on school grounds. Last month, a 6-year-old shot his teacher at a Virginia elementary school. Years before the May 24 massacre of 19 students and two teachers at a Uvalde elementary school — the deadliest shooting ever at a Texas public school — state lawmakers passed legislation in 2013 permitting school officials to carry guns on campus, a controversial practice few other states allow. In an interview with local TV stations, Stuteville acknowledged that firearms are “a considerable danger” and urged parents to “school their child to be on the lookout for any unusual placement of a weapon or anything out of place.” In mid-January, a third-grade student at Rising Star Elementary went to a bathroom and saw a gun sitting in one of the stalls, said Monty Jones, the secondary principal. The student ran back to tell his teacher, Jones said. Another third-grader went to look inside the stall. Both students walked across the hall to Stuteville’s office to tell him that a handgun was in the bathroom. The handgun had been left unattended for about 15 minutes, Stuteville said.