SV school officials take quick action when bullets are found on playground

By Karen Mundy The Press-News Published:

MAGNOLIA -- With tragedies such as Columbine High School and Sandy Hook Elementary, school officials cannot be too careful. That is why Sandy Valley Elementary Principal Vic Johnson took it seriously when bullets were found on the playground last week.

Johnson said he immediately met with the director of security in the district, as well as calling in local law enforcement agencies. He also put an "all-call" out to parents to inform them that their children were safe and school officials were being pro-active about the situation.

Fortunately, Johnson reported, the scare turned out to be a fourth-grade student who wore a coat to school that he had worn over the weekend when he went hunting with his father. He forgot about bullets being in his coat, when he put the coat on that morning. The bullets fell out of his pockets on the playground, and the student was not aware of it, until he heard later that bullets had been found.

"The student came forward and was forthright with us about the bullets," said Johnson. "We talked to his mom and she was very embarrassed about the whole situation. There was no malice intended."

Johnson said he talked to security and police officers to make sure there was no danger to the students. A metal detector was also taken out to the playground so that all bullets were secured.

Johnson said the school was not under a "lock-down" procedure, as was rumored, because there was no need to take that measure.

"You don't want to over-react," he said, "but you have to take all of these situations seriously for the safety of the students."

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