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Salinas parents upset over communication after gun incident

SALINAS, Calif. - Parents of students at University Park Elementary School in Salinas are upset about what they allege are communication failures by the school and the district after a student brought at least two handguns to school on Monday. 

Many have reached out to KION saying the Salinas City Elementary School District did not handle the incident well.  

"I was very upset that it wasn't communicated directly to me from the school, that I had to hear through someone else," said one parent who spoke off-camera to KION on Friday. 

"We didn't find out until Wednesday when my daughter brought home a note from school. No phone call from the school, no anything," said Eriela Atilano, another parent. 

In a letter sent out to parents and families, the school's principal confirms a student did bring weapons to school.

She goes on to say "there were no immediate threats related to this incident" and that staff are "trained on risk prevention." 

But we at KION have been getting a series of messages from people still upset about how everything was communicated. 

"To have the school not notify us, not shut down the school and let classes run like it's normal everyday is terrifying," said Atilano. 

University Park is a kindergarten through 6th grade school. The school held a meeting on Friday to address parents' concerns, but many were let frustrated.

"It was probably an actual waste of time," said the parent who spoke off-camera Friday. 

"Today we didn't have any answers. They said it's an ongoing investigation," said Atilano. 

The district writes that if students are found to have weapons or firearms on campus, it may lead to suspension or possible expulsion. 

Parents told KION that at the Friday meeting, administrators told people that the student who brought the guns is not coming back. 

"I really hope this is a wake up call for admin, the district, for everybody to step up their game because it was nightmare," said the parent who spoke off-camera Friday.  

The parents told me the school could neither confirm nor deny if there were any magazines or bullets brought with the guns. 

KION reached out to the district for an interview on Friday, but we did not hear back. 

 


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