Bullet found at Catholic school in Tucson - Tucson News Now

Catholic school student finds bullet in classroom

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A bullet was found by a student inside a classroom at Saint Peter & Paul Catholic School, Tucson Police said Tuesday.

The bullet was found on the floor of a closet, principal Jean McKenzie said in an e-mail to parents Tuesday afternoon.

The principal said she made each student empty backpacks, sports sacks, pencil cases and pockets.

Nothing was found, and no one took responsibility for the bullet, the principal said.

Later in the day, McKenzie said a group of six girls reporting a suspicious car with "two masked men" in front of the school during morning break. McKenzie said police were called.

"I am quite sure that the two incidents are completely unrelated," McKenzie said in her letter.

The principal sent the letter to parents in the interest of openness, the Diocese of Tucson told Tucson News Now.

"The e-mail was sent to keep parents informed and to emphasize the need for students to continue to report occurrences immediately," Diocese spokesperson Steff Koeneman said.

"There will be more investigation on the item found in the classroom," she said. "It is the practice of schools within the Diocese of Tucson, to keep both staff and students educated and aware of the need for safety and it appears the students at the school took the proper steps."

The principal sent a second letter to parents Wednesday, saying:

"Yesterday there were two incidents that involved a fifth-grade classroom. These incidents were unrelated and handled and resolved in an appropriate manner. The first incident involved a bullet being found on the floor of a closet in a classroom. This was found by a student, who immediately gave it to the teacher, and then she gave it to me. Both did exactly the right thing.

"I had the students' backpacks, pencil cases, and pockets emptied and no other items of concern were found. No one has taken responsibility for the bullet.

"The second situation involved six fifth grade girls that reported seeing a suspicious vehicle driving slowly near the school. This was reported to their teacher and then, again, to me.

"Police were called yesterday regarding these incidents. An officer came to the school. The officer spoke to the students and congratulated them for taking the right steps. The officer also spoke about the importance of being safe and reporting concerns.

"I e-mailed parents of the grade level involved to let them know that the situations were resolved, and that students were safe. Several of you have contacted the school expressing the desire to know what is going on as a result of the local news report last evening. Given that the situations were investigated and resolved with the involvement of local police, I believed the information had been communicated adequately. This message should answer any questions that you may have, but please call if you have further questions.

"The important thing is that your children are safe, that they have been taught what to do in such situations, and that we have a plan to deal with these incidents.

"Today, I will reiterate our safety procedures with the school staff at an afternoon meeting.  Many of our teachers already have had conversations with their students, reaffirming that the students did the right thing by reporting to teachers immediately.  We will continue to emphasize safety procedures throughout our school year."

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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