Parents in the Chicago suburb of Evanston complained yesterday that police were not called immediately after a 2nd grader discovered a loaded handgun on the floor of a school bathroom last week, reports the Chicago Tribune. The call came between one and three hours later. School Superintendent Hardy Murphy said the school’s crisis plan did not include a protocol for responding to the discovery of a weapon. He said, “the presence of a gun in a building has to be treated more like a bomb threat.” He said protocols will be immediately changed so that instead of calls to superiors in the school’s chain of command, the first call will go to police.
Though most parents were happy to hear about the changes, Kathy Lyons, the mother of twin kindergarten boys, said she wants to make sure there is a “sense of balance with security with the joy and freedom that we had before 9/11 and Columbine.” She said, “I hope [with new security measures] it’s not a place that’s scary and frightening for children.”