A Texas school superintendent has resigned after a third-grade student found his gun that he had left unattended in a school bathroom.
Rising Star Independent School District Robby Stuteville stepped down from his position Monday — a month after the weapon was discovered, reported the stations KTAB/KRBC.
Last week, Stuteville confirmed that a student came upon his firearm in the bathroom in January and immediately notified a teacher about it without moving or touching it.
The superintendent told local news outlets that both he and the school principal open carry guns on campus.
According to Stuteville, while using the school restroom, he removed his gun and put it in a stall, where it remained unattended for about 15 minutes, until the third-grader discovered it.
“There was never a danger other than the obvious,” Stuteville argued.
Parents said when the student notified the teacher of the gun, the teacher sent another child into the bathroom to confirm that it was a real firearm.
That boy’s father, Giovanni Mata, questioned the teacher’s decision.
“Why would you send a kid? Why not send someone else?” Mata wondered.
Mata, who had only recently relocated from Uvalde, Texas – the site of the deadly school shooting in May that killed 19 students and two teachers – said the gun incident hits too close to home for him.
“You can’t say that was a mistake to leave a gun there,” the dad added. “You can’t mistake a life.”
Stuteville said he was “proud” of the third-grader who raised the alarm about his gun in the bathroom.
“This is one of those examples of guns in schools.” Stuteville said. “Regardless of who takes responsibility, they are a considerable danger and one should school their child to be on the lookout for any unusual placement of a weapon or anything out of place.”
The Rising Start Police Department has launched an investigation into the incident after first learning of it last week.
During an emergency meeting Thursday, dozens of parents expressed their dismay at having been kept in the dark about the incident for a month.
“Why, we as parents, had to find out about it through the news…It only makes the school seem like they have something to hide,” one attendee stated.
Elizabeth Lee, who has two grandchildren in Rising Star schools, said that Stuteville’s action was “irresponsible,” according to the station ABC News 4.
“For our kids’ protection, we need someone who is more responsible with a gun,” she said.