A startling incident of road rage that could have easily turned deadly in an elementary school parking lot on March 10 has left Deer Park, Texas, residents on edge.
As two mothers were dropping their children off for the day at a local elementary school, one woman apparently didn't like how the other woman was driving, so she reportedly got out of her car and approached the other woman's vehicle, KTRK reports.
When confronted, the other mom responded by rolling down the window and pulling a gun on the woman complaining.
An eyewitness told KTRK that the offended mother "got out of her car and banged on the windows, said 'You're speeding in a school zone, you almost ... ran me over once. You need to start doing better'"
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The witness added: "...So one mom's yelling at one mom and the mom in the car pulls out a gun and says, 'Back off.'"
Both mother's had their children in their respective cars at the time. The school's child drop off zone is supposed to be gun free, The Huffington Post notes. Police were called, but did not make any arrests.
“Breaks my heart because they are so impressionable at this point when is this going to do for them when they have a conflict,” one Deer Park resident said, KHOU reports. “Is that the first resolution they are going to think of, I'll pull a gun and brandish a gun? Not good.”
The incident has left parents shaken up in the small community, even though the gun was never fired and no one was injured.
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Still, officials at the elementary school felt compelled to respond to the incident. Principal Lisa McLaughlin sent a letter to parents reminding them of their responsibility to keep the school safe, KTRK reports:
At our school, teaching students the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in life is our goal and purpose. But we don't just teach language arts or science or mathematics or fine arts. We also teach children the appropriate way to resolve conflicts. It's not unusual for there to be disagreements between students at our school, but we always encourage children to seek a peaceful end to the conflict.
At one time or another, we've all experienced frustration while driving. But, as our students know all too well, it's never a good idea to react when emotions are high. My hope is that we can all look at what happened this morning and reconsider how we deal with disagreements and anger in our lives. Conflicts such as the one that took place this morning have no place at our school. Keeping our schools safe for our children and community is our highest priority, but we can't do it alone. It takes all of us being aware of our surroundings, reporting suspicious activities, and using good judgment and restraint when disagreements arise.