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, wherein a third grade student found a firearm Stuteville had left in the school bathroom. The board of trustees accepted his 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 said at Thursday’s public school board meeting.

Jones was placed in the position at the meeting during a difficult time for the district, a task he said was difficult to mount.

“Well, personally it’s nervous. Second of all, you’re following in big footsteps in Mr. Stuteville,” explained Jones.

Parent addresses the school board

Only one Rising Star ISD parent was in attendance at this meeting, Candice Rust. She said that the meeting’s time was not widely advertised, and believes most parents did not know it was even happening. In addition to being a Rising Star parent, she said she is a teacher at another school district and also works as an EMT.

“For a man who served a community for this long, and even the community I’m in as a teacher, he served my community,” Rust vouched. “Nobody should end their career like this.”

Rust 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. For background, the student found the gun in January, but parents didn’t find out until Valentine’s Day.

“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,” Rust asked the board.

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Jones told KTAB/KRBC transparency is key for the district moving forward under his leadership. He said 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 outlined. “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,” explained Jones.

Acting Superintendent Monty Jones addresses school board

The question still on most parents’ minds is what, if anything, will happen to the teacher who allegedly sent another third grader to check on the firearm after being informed. The board did not address that in this meeting. KTAB/KRBC 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.