Richland School District Superintendent Says Staff Used "Poor Judgement" in Dealing with Gun Scenario
RICHLAND, Wash.--Dr. Richard Semler said two Richland High School Vice Principals used poor judgement in acting on a student's note about a gun in school.
Semler's report said a teacher first saw a student playing with something under his desk. When the teacher approached, the student refused to show the item. A few minutes later, the teacher received a note saying this student has a "gun or drugs," according to the report.
The teacher proceeds to call the office. Vice principal Vicki Bricker shows up and is handed the note. She brings the student down to the office. That's when she asked another vice principal, Ryan Rettig, if he knew the student in question.
About 20 minutes later, Rettig meets with the student and discusses his behavior earlier in the classroom. After that, the boy is sent back to class.
One hour later, the same witness goes to the office and tells Rettig about the gun. But Dr. Semler says his staff failed to act and that put students lives in danger.
"When we have a note that says this student has a gun, we need to act first and not turn that person over," mentions Semler. "That was a mistake on our part. We should have been on top of it the first time, certainly the second. We were not."
Semler also met with Richland police. Captain Mike Cobb says he is very optimistic the school district will work with authorities in order to provide a safer environment for students and staff.
When asked if both vice principals will be disciplined, Semler said that has yet to be determined.