Dumas parents show frustration with school security, bullying

Dumas parents remain frustrated at how a fifth-grade student could sneak a BB gun into the bathroom and shoot a fellow student, and Monday night they went after some answers.

Parents listened and asked questions to the elementary principal and district superintendent about what they're doing to prevent this from happening in the future.

An array of parents stepped up to the microphone in the public input meeting, saying they know bullying has been a problem in Dumas School District. However, they're concern has gone unanswered in the past, but this incident finally puts them at a boiling point.

"Bullying, pushing around, bloody noses, ugly names everything happens in these bathrooms," said a concerned parent in front of a very large crowd in the Reed Elementary School cafeteria.

Several other parents didn't shy away from giving school officials a piece of their mind when it comes to bullying.

"From what I can see, talking to other parents, it's getting brushed off, swept under the rug or whatever," said one parent who stated his kid has been bullied in the past.

"Just walking into a bathroom and getting popped, even though it was a BB gun getting shot with, it could've been a .38, .45 or whatever," said Chris Sandlin whose son was the victim of being shot in the side after walking into the bathroom of his elementary school.

Sandlin said he has faced issues of his son being bullied at school in the past, but he said this action reached a new level of being picked on.

"Before this incident he's been pushed down, glasses broken. I've had to replace glasses $100, $200 a pair. (He would) come home muddy, pushed into water on the playgrounds," Sandlin continued.

Dumas Superintendent Dr. David Rainey said he was unaware that this issue has been a problem, at least from what he's heard from his staff at Reed Elementary.

"I trust the judgment of the administrators on this campus and I trust their integrity," Rainey said after Monday's meeting.

One change parents said they want is to hear first from the district when an event happens at school, and not local media.

"Why not schools reach the parents instead of kids coming home and saying 'Oh my goodness, so and so had a gun in the bathroom and shot another child," a parent asked aloud. "You let me know when 'Doughnuts for Dads,' is."

The student who brought the gun to school and used it on another student is currently suspended from school. Dr. Rainey said on May 13 it will up to the school board whether to expel the kid from the school district.

Several measures are already taking place to ensure better school security. There is now only one entrance into the building for visitors, as opposed to other doors around the school.

Administrators may also use wand metal detectors at schools in Dumas. The district has also stated it's put in a request for a walk-thru metal detector to be installed.

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