A Canton kindergartner is the latest statistic regarding young children bringing a loaded gun to school. This time it was a loaded 9mm Ruger semi-automatic which was brought to Gibbs Elementary School last Wednesday by a 6-year old boy.
Apparently, he brought the gun, still in its locked case. But the bad news is that he also brought the key to the case and was able to unlock and open it. He was looking at it when, thankfully, a cafeteria worker and teacher happened to walk by and see what the boy had. They closed it up immediately and took it to their administrator.
Now, here is where it gets even stranger, when the boy was questioned about the gun, he told a teacher that his dad shot and killed somebody and buried the body in their backyard! A little weird, right? Especially when police discovered that this story was completely bogus.
When police arrived at the boy’s home on St. Elmo NE, they quickly determined that, not only had there been no shooting and no shooting victim, but the boy’s father lives out of state.
But that is not where this story ends, because the police discovered that the home in which this little boy is living with his three siblings was disgustingly dirty. Animal feces were everywhere, and photos taken by the police showed a home in which children were forced to eat, sleep, and live in filth and garbage. Additionally, Sandra Holderness, the “mom” admitted that she had left the gun out and unattended when she was sleeping.
Holderness has been arrested and charged with child endangering for failing to keep a loaded gun out of the reach of her child. If she is convicted, she could face 6 months to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Meanwhile, the 6-year old boy and his three siblings are in protective custody.
Parents at Gibbs Elementary School are rightfully upset. Even though Ken Kendall, the school’s safety director explained that this was an isolated incident and that the gun wasn’t even taken out of the case, parents are legitimately afraid.
And I can’t blame them! It seems that guns showing up in the hands of young people who have no idea how dangerous they are, is becoming a more alarmingly common occurrence these days. Just look back at how many blogs I have written about these events recently if you need proof.
So I totally understand when Brandi Burnsworth said, “I was upset that nobody let me know that my daughter was actually exposed to a loaded gun at school.”
And Judy Henderson was clearly speaking for parents everywhere when she said, “The gun could have accidentally went off and killed any of the students.”
Kendall stated, “We’re safe here. I want the parents to know their children are safe. There was nothing to be fearful of here.”
But, let’s face it! That’s a bunch of bunk, because they were simply lucky. At any time, that boy could have pulled that loaded weapon out of its case and decided to “play” with it. Kids that age just don’t get it! They have no idea of the tragedy a loaded gun can cause. To them, it is a toy that looks fun like the countless movies they have seen.
So, let’s get real! Gibbs Elementary School quite literally dodged a bullet, as have so many elementary schools of late. It makes you wonder if we need metal detectors in all schools because we have too many parents out there who are no longer parents and certainly are not doing their jobs.
Holderness deserves to be locked up for a very long time, sending a message to other unfit parents to get their act together or suffer the same fate.
Ashley Motley, another Gibbs Elementary parent said, “Anyone is at risk when you have a child with a weapon. They don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t know the extent of the injury they can cause on someone.”
This is a frightening trend, and it must be looked into seriously by school systems everywhere.