Parents call for tougher disciplinary standards at Huntsville schools

Parents call for tougher disciplinary standards at Huntsville schools

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - On Tuesday, Huntsville city leaders faced questions from parents a day after a shooting left one Blossomwood Elementary second-grader with an injured hand.

Mayor Tommy Battle, Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Christie Finley, Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray and others spoke to Blossomwood parents about what happened on Monday, and how the district plans to keep its children safe.

A second grader was showing a gun to a classmate when it fired. Huntsville Police called the incident accidental and the injured child is okay, but concern remained on how the involved children will be disciplined.

[READ MORE: Father charged after child brings stolen gun to Blossomwood Elementary]

Multiple parents questioned the ability of the district to punish elementary aged students who repeatedly disrupt class behavior.

Finley said the district “will address” students who consistently disrupt class, and will reexamine its behavioral guidelines and consequences.

Louise Carter is the grandmother of a third-grader at Blossomwood and one was the guardians asking about repeated misbehavior.

She said she was not satisfied with their answers.

“We need to be made aware of this, of these children, and we need to find a way of dealing with these children. Not in a negative way, some parents need help with the children, and we need to step in to see what we can do,” she said.

Blossomwood Elementary Principal Jamie Burton said he was happy parents got an opportunity to voice their concerns.

“I think a good discussion was started tonight in regard to having a process in place, where parents can say ‘what can we do when schools have utilized the highest levels of discipline?' what can you do beyond that?” he said.

All the city leaders who spoke called on parents to be active in the educational process by informing school leaders of potential behavioral issues and checking the backpacks of students who come to school.

In a letter sent to Blossomwood parents Monday night, Finley called for a mandatory clear-bag policy across the district and increased security.

Finley also said she is in the process of assembling a task force to review parental concerns and suggestions about the district’s response.

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