HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Parents in Hancock County say they are outraged that they were not notified last month after a student brought a gun to the middle school.
Authorities say the eighth-grader brought the gun to Hancock Middle School on Jan. 4, but parents say they were not told about it until a Facebook post went viral in the small community Wednesday following a mass school shooting in Florida that left 17 people dead.
On Thursday, Sheriff Ricky Adam confirmed the student did bring a gun to the school but said no other students were ever in danger since the weapon was non-functional due to a missing trigger mechanism.
School officials insist that the situation was handled according to the district's policies and procedures but many parents disagree.
"I had not heard or seen anything about it up until (Thursday morning)," said Billy Lamb. "And of course, after what happened in Florida and some of the things that have happened in the past with the middle school and the children, I couldn't believe I wasn't notified."
Lamb has two children at Hancock County Middle School and said he has several questions he wants the district to answer.
"Is that child still in the school system? Is he still allowed to go to school? Why weren't we told? If it was no big deal, why wasn't it mentioned?" Lamb questioned.
Hancock County School Superintendent Alan Dedeaux said the school dealt with it through the policies they have in place. But Lamb said he wants to know what's being done to ensure this won't happen again.
"I think whoever made the decision to not let parents know that there was a gun in the school, they need to be reviewed, to say the least. That was a horrible call," said Lamb. "As far as I'm concerned, it starts from the top and works its way down. If my child talks too much in class then I get a letter from the teacher. There was a gun at the school and I got nothing. It's not really that hard to let the parents know what's going on, especially something that major."
The superintendent said the school keeps reports from students confidential because they want students to always feel like they can report things to them. Hancock County Youth Court is handling the criminal aspect of the case.