A South Carolina mom would like a word with school officials after a fifth-grade field trip turned into an impromptu lecture about guns and a tour of an armory – without the parents’ consent.
As CBS News reports, fifth-graders from St. George, South Carolina, were recently offered a tour of what will be their new school next year, when they go into sixth grade and thus, in their district, middle school. That part of the field trip was what the parents signed off on. But after seeing their new school home, the kids, for reasons that remain unclear, were instead taken to a nearby business.
As WCSC-TV reports, the building had been a National Guard armory, and then the town’s police headquarters, before being sold to an area businessman. It is unclear, as of this writing, what the business is used for now. Yet, apparently, there are plenty of guns there because someone -whether the business owner or someone else – gave the kids a lesson in guns that day.
Photos provided to WCSC show a man – it’s not clear who – holding up various guns while the children look on. It’s unclear what he said to the kids.
But at least one kid was duly impressed. Parent Belinda Guice, who was on the field trip that day, says her fifth-grade son had some startling words for her when the field trip was over.
“Mom, I need a 0.22 caliber.”
Belinda, however, was decidedly not impressed.
“I do not condone guns. No one had my permission… My brother at 32 got killed from gun violence. He left four kids behind.”
Ms. Guice, who had also done substitute teacher work for the district, says she complained to the principal.
“You took away my right, you took away all of these other kids’ parents’ rights to allow for me to tell you if I want my son to be introduced to this type of stuff.”
However, rather than getting a satisfactory answer, she says she got a phone call from district headquarters saying she was no longer a substitute teacher in the district.
In a statement provided to the media, Dorchester Four School District reiterated that school field trips are approved according to an approval process, and once parents sign permission slips, the field trip must comply with the approved trip. However, because the district is treating the incident as a personnel matter, they will not disclose publicly what happened to any school staff who were working that day.
“As to the incident in question, the matter has been reviewed and handled in accordance with District policies. As it involved personnel, the District will not comment further at this time.”