We Need To Talk About The Texas Superintendent Who Left His Gun In A Bathroom
Robby Stuteville, a now former Texas superintendent, resigned after parents expressed concern about a gun he left behind in a bathroom accessible to students, that was then discovered by a student.
Well, that's not exactly correct. It seems that most of the parents were more concerned about not being informed about the incident until a month later.
News of the incident became public last week, and many parents expressed frustration during a Feb. 16 board meeting that they were not informed of the issue when it first happened.
Not only was the unattended gun discovered by a student, an unnamed teacher then instructed another 3rd grader to go back into the bathroom with that child to find out if the gun was real. It also appears that one of the children sent into the bathroom had moved to Rising Star, Texas after having lived in Uvalde (or at least one of the parents did, it's a little unclear). This incident shows how tangled gun culture in Texas can be.
I feel that it is very fair to come to the conclusion that leaving the gun unattended anywhere in a school is negligent, and had any child been hurt, surely any court would have found Stuteville at least partially responsible. While I understand that people get preoccupied and forget all kinds of things- even children in hot cars- we still hold those people accountable when the worst happens.
Of course, this brings up many questions, like, why didn't the teacher go look to see if it was a real gun? Was it due to all the politics around gendered bathrooms? I think it's reasonable that if there is a danger to students, gender shouldn't matter if an adult teacher enters an otherwise empty bathroom. If you are going to send a child in, maybe just have them check that it's empty before an adult retrieves a potentially real gun.
Honestly, I am on the fence when it comes to educators being armed in schools. While Uvalde proved that responding officers won't always be heroes, why do we expect teachers and staff to be? And how many "honest mistakes" are we away from an otherwise preventable tragedy?
I don't have the answers. I am just hoping that parents and teachers can find some before we lose any more children to gun violence- or neglect.