Mill Creek Parents React to Student's Arrest

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COLUMBIA - Parents of Mill Creek Elementary students are not concerned about the school's safety following the arrest of a first-grade student Friday.

As parents and PTA members made their way into Wednesday's PTA meeting, several told KOMU they think the school handled the situation appropriately.

Stacia Coughenour is a Mill Creek Elementary parent. She believes school officials did all they could to control the situation.

"I certainly do," Coughenour said. "They removed the child from the other children. From what I understand, it was an isolated room. They did what they could to calm him down. Anything that happened after that was not done by the school from what I understand."

Gretchen Chudy also has kids who attend Mill Creek Elementary. She agreed the school handled the situation well and added it is a secure environment.

"I also have faith in the leadership here and I do feel my kids are safe here," Chudy said.

School principal Tabetha Rawlings sent a letter to parents on Tuesday about the six-year-old's arrest. 

The school told KOMU the child allegedly hit a faculty member before throwing and breaking several items in the in-school suspension room.

Sgt. Joe Bernhard of the Columbia Police Department confirmed the parents contacted law enforcement to take their child into custody.

Several Mill Creek parents said the child was having behavioral problems at home. 

Coughenour believes the school's work is done, "I don't think there's anything the school needs to be doing from here," she said. "I think it's an issue between the parents and the child."

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