RISING STAR, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Rising Star ISD held its first meeting since the resignation of former Superintendent Robby Stuteville. He resigned following an incident in January in which a third-grade student found a firearm he left in the school bathroom. The board of trustees accepted Stuteville’s resignation and placed Acting Superintendent Monty Jones in the position.
“It’s a sad day for all of us, but he resigned in the effect that he felt it was a necessity for him,” Jones explained.
Jones was placed in the position at the meeting during a difficult time for the district. A task he said is difficult to mount.
“Well, personally it’s nervous. Second of all, you’re following in big footsteps in Mr. Stuteville,” Jones expressed.
Only one parent was in attendance at this meeting and has asked to remain anonymous. She said that the meeting’s time was not widely advertised and she believes most parents did not know it was even happening. She added in addition to being a Rising Star parent, she is a teacher and member of the school’s safety and security committee.
“For a man who served a community for this long and even the community I’m in as a teacher, He served my community. Nobody should end their career like this,” She said regarding Stuteville’s resignation.
She expressed concern over the school’s lack of response to the situation when it happened in January and called for the board to share responsibility with Stuteville in accepting repercussions.
“Why didn’t you do X-Y and Z? And he (Stuteville) told me that he notified the school board so then why didn’t the school board follow their own emergency protocols?” The parent said to the board.
Jones told BigCountryHomepage (BCH) that transparency is key for the district moving forward under his leadership. He hopes to set forward a clear line of communication between parents and administration.
“We want to be sure we provide those answers. In the next incident or accident, here’s what we’re gonna do, here’s how we’re gonna do it, here’s when you’re gonna be notified, here’s how you’re gonna be notified,” Jones explained. “We want people to know that we do things right here and that you can trust us. When we tell you something, that’s the way it’s gonna be.”
Jones added that the incident should be taken seriously and intends to answer the questions raised by parents at the next board meeting set to take place sometime around spring break.
“It’s new to all of us. This is an ongoing process. We’re on a learning curve, but the learning curve is pretty short when it comes to the safety of our children,” said Jones.
Jones began the meeting by explaining that the board would only be taking care of the items on the agenda. All answers and responses to community inquiry are to be addressed at the next scheduled school board meeting.
The question still on most parents’ minds is what, if anything, will happen to the teacher that allegedly sent another third-grade boy to check on the firearm after being informed of it. The board did not address that in this meeting. BCH reached out to the Rising Star Police Department but has not yet received a comment. The investigation into the incident remains active at this time.