PINCKNEY — An investigation is underway after a parent volunteer brought a holstered gun to Navigator Upper Elementary that fell to the gym floor during lunch break Friday.
A “well-known, active and active volunteer” who holds a concealed handgun license brought the gun into the building rather than leaving it in his vehicle, according to a letter sent to Pinckney Public Schools families signed by Superintendent Rick Todd and Principal Navigator Ruth Badaluk .
The holster and gun fell to the floor while the man was “engaging with students” in the school’s gymnasium, the letter said. The incident was immediately reported to Badaluk, and the father took the gun into his car.
The school resource office and Todd were notified and went to the school.
The school was never locked down because there was no immediate threat, the letter said.
“While this parent feels extreme remorse, embarrassment and responsibility for what happened, that does not take away from the seriousness of it and the possibility of something more serious that we are very thankful did not happen,” Todd and Badaliuca wrote. “Please know that we fully respect a person’s right to bear arms if they have the appropriate licenses, but please know that it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon in a school building, regardless of whether or not a CPL is obtained, unless very specific permits are granted. which usually involves retired law enforcement officers.
“What happened today is one unfortunate example of why it is so important for those who choose to legally carry a weapon to make sure it is properly secured in their vehicle or residence before entering a school building. as such accidents can happen as we learned today.”
The school district will make a full police report, which is expected to be sent to the Livingston County District Attorney, according to the letter. In the meantime, parents will be prohibited from volunteering in any Pinckney Public Schools buildings, they said.
“Here at Pinckney Community Schools, we value parent involvement in the school because it is the most effective way to build a strong sense of trust, collaboration and transparency, and we never want to lose that,” Todd and Badaluca wrote. “But at the same time, we must ensure that we work together, doing our part to ensure the safety of our students and staff at all times. We understand that incidents like this can be distressing, as they were for us, but at the same time, we hope that the trust we’ve built through communication can help ensure that we always have your student’s best interests at heart.”
Contact Mark Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @ByMarkJohnson.