Bullets found at Blackman Elem., parents outraged by response - WKRN News 2

Bullets found at Blackman Elem., parents outraged by school's response

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -

Rutherford County School officials are fielding calls from outraged parents who say they were never notified about bullets found inside an elementary school.

The ammunition was found Monday at Blackman Elementary School on Fortress Boulevard in Murfreesboro.

"They had a student, who notified a teacher, that they found two .22 caliber bullets in a hallway at the school," said Rutherford County Schools Community Relations Coordinator James Evans.

According to Evans, Principal Cynthia Ford sent a letter home to only those parents whose children were in the section of the building where the bullets were found.

The letter spoke specifically about the finding of the bullets, and the police investigation and search that followed.

Parents who did not receive a letter were outraged to learn about the incident on Nashville's News 2 Tuesday.

Many of them sounded off on WKRN's Web site.

A parent who identified herself as "Felicia" online  wrote, "My son is a first grader at Blackman and I didn't get a note, call or email about this. Finding out about it on the news does not make me happy at all."

"Lisa Fairfax" added, "I also have a first grader and a third grader and no note!!!!"

According to Evans said Principal Ford followed procedure.

"We typically investigate, discipline the students who were involved, and then notify the parents who were involved," he said. "She was treating it like one of those situations."

School design also played a role in parent notification, as the bullets were found in the fourth grade hallway.

"The school is compartmentalized, so only certain students go down certain hallways," Evans said.

But that reasoning didn't sit well with "Mike" who commented on Nashville's News 2's Web site, asking, "'Compartmentalized?' Is there a force field where bullets found in one hallway can not reach another? Why were we not notified?"

In hindsight, school leaders said they understand the outrage.

"The Connecticut shooting has really,  it's put everybody on edge," Evans said. "People are just concerned about their kids' safety. We are, too, of course."

Several comments online supported the school's decision to notify only the parents of students involved.

While there are currently no plans to change Rutherford County Schools' policy, Evans admitted this incident could impact how individual school leaders make notifications in the future.

No weapon was found at the school, and investigators were not able to determine how the bullets got into the building. The case has since been closed.

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