Parents critical of how Coral Sunset Elementary School alerted them about bullets found on campus
Automated call went out after 5 p.m.
5:51 PM, May 3, 2017
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Parents west of Boca Raton are criticizing the way the school district communicated an incident at an elementary school.
Students found nine bullets in the Coral Sunset cafeteria during breakfast Tuesday. But parents didn’t find out about the incident until an automated call after 5 p.m. that night.
Many parents including Ashley, who didn’t want to share her last name, said the principal sounded too casual about the situation during the recorded message.
“I freaked out, my husband freaked out,” Ashley said upon hearing the message.
She wondered why the school didn’t go into lockdown and notify parents immediately.
“As soon as you find bullets, you should assume there is a gun or someone on campus with ill intent,” Ashley pointed out.
She’s so nervous about the way the school handled the situation and the lack of information it shared, that she kept her first-grade daughter home from school.
“Apparently I now have to teach my 7-year-old how to handle herself in a situation because her school cannot protect her,” Ashley said.
In the recording, the school’s principal said investigators had no reason to believe whoever brought the bullets to school “intended to disrupt the campus.” But she did admit the school was still working to determine who brought the bullets to school.
“Some people felt like they weren’t safe so they went to to the counselor and talked to the counselor. Everyone is on edge,” said Lukas Costa, a fifth-grade student.
When his father dropped him off at school Wednesday morning, he noticed school police checking backpacks of students. He called it a comforting sight.
“As a parent, you feel pretty scared, but I feel more safe now and that he’s at a good school where they do their jobs,” Pedro Costa said.
A school district spokesperson said the district has policies in place to respond to situations like this one. But the exact details of how police respond are confidential.
The district requested parents check their children’s backpacks before and after school.