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Eunice Parents Voice Concerns at Community Meeting After Gun Was Brought on Campus

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By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9
 
EUNICE, N.M. - Parents filled a Eunice cafeteria on Tuesday night to voice their concerns after a gun was brought on the middle school campus a couple of weeks ago.

"We did find a gun in the school, we took care of it professionally," Dwain Haynes, Superintendent of Eunice Public Schools, said. "We chose not to disrupt the education environment, cause mass hysteria."
 
It's that decision that has Eunice parents upset.
 
On January 8th, a female student at Caton Middle School was brought to the principal's office after officials said she was acting suspicious.

"The little girl made some comments that triggered the search and seizure policy of the district," Haynes said. "When they dumped out the bag, a weapon did come out. It was an isolated incident and we felt the school did not need to go in full lockdown."

The gun wasn't loaded and the student was expelled after the school's investigation wrapped up about three days later. Many parents were upset because they felt left in the dark.

"I understand why you did that, trying to get all the information," one parent said. "As a concerned parent and citizen I probably would like to have known that a little bit quicker."

Haynes hosted a meeting to address the community about what happened and to hear their concerns.

Some parents said they want the district to be proactive and install metal detectors.

"It works in airport, it works in other schools. Do it," one parent said. "If that's one way to prevent it, then lets entertain that idea."

Others suggested having monitors on buses or more security in general, but one thing everyone agreed on was parental involvement.

"It's gonna take us parents involved with these kids to stop this stuff," another parent said.

Changes are already being made. Haynes said they're reviewing their safety plans and looking for flaws. The district is adopting a color code system for emergency situations and they're also planning on meeting with the Eunice Police Department at least once a month from now on.