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Some Bloomington parents want school resource officers to carry guns again

Two Bloomington South students have brought guns to school recently
Posted at 1:28 PM, Oct 28, 2021

BLOOMINGTON — Elizabeth Bullock and Melissa Brown both have kids attending Bloomington High School South.

Twice in the past two weeks — Sept. 30 and Oct. 15 — two students were found with guns in their backpacks. Both parents said it was a scary situation for them and their kids.

"I received a text message from my daughter that morning as I was driving to work saying Oh my gosh. There's something going on. I'm scared," Brown said.

"My son sent me a text message as well. He didn't have service in a portion of that building, so he wasn't able to reach out to me which I think that increased fear for him," Bullock said. "I received a message from probably a little after, 15 minutes after the incident occurred."

These moms received text messages because the school went on lockdown. It's something Bloomington South didn't do the first time a gun was found on campus.

"Of course, we didn't want our children to experience lockdown, I'm sure no parents wanted that," Bullock said. "My understanding was school personnel approached that incident, potentially putting themselves in danger, so I give a lot of credit to Bloomington South for correcting what didn't go well the first time and making sure our children did stay safe this time. "

Both moms say the timing of the guns being found on campus is concerning

"It seems like we've taken measures to lessen security and now there have been security threats," Brown said.

What she's referring to is the Monroe County Community School Corporation's decision last May to disarm their school resource officers. This is some of what board member April Hennessey said about it at the time

"We have a commitment to make to all of our students and our adults in the buildings not to front-load our schools with fear. I do think that for many people guns signal or signify that we have something to be afraid of," Hennessey said during that May board meeting.

We know the decision was applauded by some parents, including Jenny Robinson.

"I was relieved. I was glad to hear. I was in an elementary school years ago, where I saw one of the school resource officers and I noticed that he had a gun. And I did not feel safer in that moment. I felt sort of disturbed that six-year-olds were right next to him while he has a gun," Robinson said.

However, the two incidents at Bloomington South now have some parents, once again, calling for the board to reconsider their decision and go further with security. A parent from Tuesday night's board meeting expanded on what many would like to see.

"At this time, with two incidents of guns in our school, I'm calling for immediate action in terms of metal detectors, wands, rearming of SROs, and controlled alarmed entries into the building," the parent said.

For those who think that may seem a bit overboard, Bullock says this.

"I think we live in a society where we don't want to have to think about that, we don't want to expose our children to that but our children were just exposed to a lockdown," Bullock said. "I'm going to pick as a parent, my child walking through a metal detector once a day instead of experiencing that."

The Monroe County Community School Corporation sent WRTV a lengthy statement in response to our questions about the concerns of some parents and their ask for increased security measures.

They told us they don't release specific details on how they keep their students safer but take very seriously the safety of students.

They also said they're constantly looking at the measures they have in place and will make changes based on things happening in their schools.