On Wednesday, Aug. 30, at 6 p.m., my daughter got home from school. She attends school at Sam Houston Elementary in La Feria.
When asked how her day had gone she stated, “A kid pointed a gun to me at recess, but I don’t know if it was real or fake, because I was facing the other way.”
I asked her if she was facing the other way how did she know that someone pointed a gun at her. She said other students (can provide list of names) saw it, saw him point it to her and her friend, and told them about it.
I asked her if she told anyone teachers or anyone at school since I had not received a phone call.
She said yes that she told her teacher and her teacher let the administrators know.
She said the principal (Ms. Maria Rodriguez) and assistant principal (Mr. Ruben Escamilla) had spoken to them, found out who the student with the contraband was and told the girls that it was confiscated.
Surprised that her story involved administrators, and I had not received a phone call I was skeptical. The next morning I called the school and asked to speak with the counselor, you would think the counselor would know something.
I explained to her what my daughter had told me.
She was unaware of any situation but would ask the other administrators and call me back.
I received a phone call from Mr. Escamilla verifying everything my daughter told.
He explained the situation was addressed right away, the toy was confiscated, let me know it was an aluminum color and the student had been disciplined.
Good job school for taking care of it right away, but when I asked why I wasn’t notified he stated he did not want to cause a scare.
I explained to him, that was totally understandable and there was no need to notify every parent or send letters home with every student, but it was wrong for them to not call the parents of the students directly involved.
A simple phone call, so when my daughter got home and made the statement she made, I would have been able to comfort her and tell her, “it was just a toy; it was like keychain, you’re okay and did the right thing by reporting it.”
The fact that Mr. Escamilla believes he made the right decision is beyond me. I let him know I would be taking this up higher.
Later I received a phone call from Ms. Maria Rodriguez, she was repeatedly tried to justify the no need to notify me.
She stated that everything was hearsay and my daughter never saw anything.
I told to stop right there, her assistant principal had already confirmed my daughter’s story even though she never saw it and even told me the toy gun was confiscated, it was an aluminum color
and the student was disciplined All I wanted was for the school to admit they should have called me and make a protocol for situations like this.
Now the administrators claim the toy gun was never out of the backpack yet students from a completely different class were the ones to report it and never saw the backpack on the playground since they are left in the class during recess.
The administrators our district hired to provide honesty, integrity and be role models for our students, instead of admitting their mistake are now changing the story.
They know I cannot talk to students to discredit their side of events, but I am reaching out to parents.
So if your child comes home from Sam Houston and tells you something as bizarre as my child, hey there’s a chance it might be true, apparently the school doesn’t have to notify anyone even if your child is the one that reported it.
As a parent, think about how you would feel, if your child said what my daughter said to you.
Think about how simple a phone call would’ve been to let me know it was nothing, I could have reassured her the student was just playing.
All I wanted was an apology and a protocol put into place so no parent would feel the way I did when my daughter got home, instead I was slammed with justifications made by a lie, “it never left the backpack.”
Mindy Palacios-Hernandez La Feria