Parent reaction to staff member arrested for handgun at Mary Beck Elementary

ELKHART, Ind. -- Parents of Mary Beck Elementary School students are speaking out about Monday's gun scare.

On Monday morning, Elkhart police arrested a staff member for having a handgun inside the school, but neither police nor the school district have identified the staff member.

All Elkhart Community School parents received a chilling phone call after the staff member was arrested, reading in part:

"This morning, our administration received a report from a staff member that another staff member brought a handgun into Mary Beck Elementary School."

Parents just say they wish they had more information regarding the incident, including who the staff member is and why they had a gun in the first place.

"Like I don't know who it is, I don't know what's going on, I don't know if they shot up the place, my daughter's there," says Nathan Woods, whose daughter is a fifth grader at Mary Beck Elementary School.

Parents are seeking answers as to why this staff member felt the need to have a gun at the elementary school.

"If I don't know why somebody has a gun around my daughter, no, I just can't do it," Woods says.

"Hopefully she has a good reason as to why she had it on the school grounds," says Crystal Olson, who lives near the school.

The situation follows an ongoing debate over whether teachers should be armed in school.

"In Tennessee they passed a law stating that teachers can carry handguns in school, which I get because of all the school shootings, but at the same time, they can have security guards too for that," explains Woods.

Until parents get a definite answer about why this staff member was armed, they're not sure what to think about the kids' and community's safety.

"Is it going to put the students at risk or is it putting the community at risk? Or is it to protect the community or the kids?" Olson asks.

ABC57 did find jail records of a 40-year-old woman getting arrested Monday for having a firearm on school property; Elkhart Schools would neither confirm nor deny she is the same person.

In a statement, Elkhart police said they won't release the name until a judicial officer finds probable cause for the arrest and sets bail.

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