Parents: Teacher told 1st-grader to put bullets away

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Parents in Nassau County are outraged over a first-grade teacher's response to a student bringing bullets to class.

Parents say the Yulee Primary School teacher told the child to put the bullets in his backpack and take them home rather than confiscate and secure them. The child did not have a gun.

Two parents say they're pulling their kids out of the class as a result.

Some parents say the Nassau County School Board's response to this incident also lacked the urgency it deserved.

"I have heard horror stories of bullets going off, even without the device," said one parent who didn't want to be identified.

She said her first-grader's teacher failed to protect her child when the teacher told another student who had a box of three bullets in class to put them back in his backpack and take them home.

"The teacher advised the child to put them back in his backpack and not to bring them to school any longer," the parent said.

Administrators at the school confirmed the incident occurred last Thursday. Parents said it wasn't until their kids came home from school Friday that they learned about the ammunition in their children's school.

"Unacceptable," one parent said. "I can't have my child around a student with bullets, a bully, and a teacher turning away, turning her back. I cannot do it."

Sharyl Wood, Nassau County's executive director of administrative services, told Channel 4, "A bullet in itself is not a dangerous object. There is nothing a kid can do with a bullet that could hurt someone. If there's a gun involved it's a different issue. We are investigating this incident and the School Board will take appropriate action."

Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said he's had an experience with bullets firsthand.

"I can remember years ago when I was a kid I had a bullet, threw it down on the ground and it went off," Leeper said. "Luckily it didn't hit myself and nothing happened."

The sheriff said it doesn't happen often, but striking the end of a bullet can cause it to fire.

School Board officials say they're investigating the teacher's initial response.

"I'm really disappointed and concerned about my child's safety," the first parent said. "I wish they were more responsible and not trying to sweep it under the rug and not make a big deal out of it."