First-grader shoots classmate with airsoft gun at Elgin Elementary

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — A mother is furious and frustrated with Elgin Elementary after a first-grade student shot her daughter during class with an airsoft gun.

While Rachel Beaver said she’s concerned about student safety, she’s equally worried about how the district handled the incident.

Beaver said she got a phone call from the school’s principal Monday around 11 a.m. letting her know what had happened.

“She’s sitting in class, she’s doing her school work, and a student brought a pellet gun to school and shot her in the back,” Beaver said.

The district later determined it was a spring-loaded airsoft gun.

Beaver quickly picked up her daughter from school and came back the next day with a lot of questions for her teacher.

“I wanted to know why the police weren’t called immediately. I actually had to do that after I picked her up from school,” Beaver said.

In a statement to KXAN News, District Superintendent Jodi Duron wrote in part, “We take matters of safety very seriously, and our campus administrators immediately addressed this issue, in accordance with our student code of conduct.”

However, a letter explaining what happened didn’t go out to parents until two days after the incident, and once a Facebook post by Beaver garnered a lot of attention in the community.

In it, Principal Sarah Farias explained that the teacher immediately confiscated the gun, and that the disciplinary measures were imposed on the student who fired it.

The letter goes on to ask parents to talk with their kids about the incident, and to remind them that it is against school policy to bring guns of any type to school.

An American Academy of Pediatrics study shows airsoft guns send an average of 120 kids to the emergency room each year. The study looked at all nonpowder firearms, including airsoft guns, and found that eye injuries have increased 30% since 1990.

Despite the scare, Beaver’s daughter is doing fine.

“She didn’t have a problem going back to school the next day, so I was thankful for that,” Beaver said.

She hopes what happened to her daughter will serve as a lesson for both students, and the district.

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