After her daughter was shot by a pellet gun at school by a classmate, Rachel Beaver took her story to social media, hoping to inform fellow parents and encourage them to educate their children about the dangers of weapons.
According to Beaver, her first-grade daughter was sitting in class at Elgin Elementary School last Monday morning, February 3, when a student shot her in the back with a pellet gun. Another student saw this take place and notified the teacher. Later that day, once she found out what had happened, Beaver visited the school to take her daughter home and talk to school administration, as well as a school resource officer.
“Last week, a first grader at EES brought a plastic, spring-loaded gun to school,” said a statement from Elgin ISD Superintendent Jodi Duron. “The student shot a plastic pellet in the classroom, hitting another student in the back. The student was not injured. We take matters of safety very seriously, and our campus administrators immediately addressed this issue, in accordance with our student code of conduct. Elgin ISD remains committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all of our students and staff.”
After speaking to the school, Beaver posted about the situation on Facebook, where it received a lot of attention.
“I feel that all parents of the school need to be aware and informed about something of this nature,” her post said. “Please talk to your children, you're not protecting them by sheltering them. Kids need to be aware of the dangers of guns and how to own them responsibly.”
A couple of days afterwards, the school sent out a letter to parents about the incident. Beaver added an update to her Facebook post after the letters were sent.
“I’m now pleased to know that this was taken seriously,” the update said. “I hope that something good can come from this.”
Beaver said she has spoken to the school administration at Elgin Elementary School about potential ways to prevent another similar situation. She suggested checking students’ backpacks or requiring that students have clear backpacks. She also suggested bringing law enforcement officers to the school to talk to the children.
“I also think that parents need to have a conversation with their children about appropriate things at school and what's not appropriate, and talk about the safety of guns,” Beaver said.
Beaver said she is also working on talking to her daughter’s teacher about rewarding the student who saw what happened and told the teacher.
“If we could just like make it cool to do good things instead, because right now, I think it's kind of popular to be a troublemaker,” she said. “I think kids that do good things should be rewarded.”