Students at Dallas' Elisha M. Pease Elementary School went home Friday with letters informing parents that a gun accidentally fired in a third grade classroom the day before.
The letter reads, in part, "Yesterday, a student brought a loaded gun to school that discharged accidentally inside a backpack in a third-grade classroom at the end of the school day. Fortunately, no students or staff were injured."
The Dallas Independent School District says phone calls were placed Thursday evening to inform parents about the incident, but several parents said they didn't learn about it until Friday.
Maribel Fuentes said she found out about the gun after her daughter was delayed in being released from school. Fuentes said her third grader, Emily, was visibly shaken when she got in the car.
"I can't imagine what's going through her head, because now she's not going to feel safe at a place you go to learn," Fuentes said.
Despite a day of testing, Fuentes allowed Emily to stay home when even a favorite assistant principal couldn't coax her into the building Friday morning.
"He told me I shouldn't be scared, that when the bullet rang out he immediately checked our backpacks and everything, that he would protect me," Emily said.
Now, Fuentes is asking what security measures the school will put in place in the future to ensure this doesn't happen again.
In a statement Friday, the school district said:
"The safety of our students is our top priority. Dallas ISD takes seriously the responsibility to educate children in a safe and nurturing learning environment. Guns have no place in schools. While we are thankful no one was injured, this is a strong reminder for parents and our community to keep firearms, or any weapons, safely locked away and out of the reach of children. Dallas ISD remains committed to the well-being of every student, every day, and it takes everyone working together to achieve that goal."
Pease Elementary had extra counselors on hand Friday making the rounds to ensure students felt safe. Dallas ISD Police will lead the investigation. The district says they'll pass the case onto other agencies if criminal charges are filed or if they believe Child Protective Services needs to be involved.