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'This is supposed to be a safe zone' | Parents frustrated after finding 'bullet holes' in school windows

WUSA-TV Washington, D.C. logo WUSA-TV Washington, D.C. 8/25/2019 Jess Arnold
a close up of a window: Hendley Elementary School Shooting Gunfire © Markus Batchelor Hendley Elementary School Shooting Gunfire

As D.C. kids get ready to go back to school Monday, some have more to worry about than the grades.

Especially those living and going to school in Southeast face violence every day.

"As far as the gunfire, it’s almost every night," Thomas Bush, who lives in Southeast, said. "You don’t know if it’s fireworks or gunshots."

Those gunshots have now reached schools in D.C.

One parent tweeted out Saturday: "I see DC Public Schools Turner Elementary in Ward 8 still has bullet holes in glass over the front doors after months…kids left being greeted by tape & bullet holes daily, they shouldn’t come back to it."


Within a couple hours, the D.C. Department of General Services had tweeted a response that they were investigating.

When WUSA9 paid a visit to Turner Elementary to check out the damage, crews were already working on the repairs.

RELATED: Second shooting in 2 weeks puts Hendley Elementary School on lockdown

WUSA 9 reached out to DCPS to ask whether or not they knew about the damage and how long it had been there, but are waiting to hear back.

"This is supposed to be like a safe zone, so when it gets to a point where they have to come to their safe zone with bullet holes in it, what can they think? There’s no place safe for them," Bush said.

Bush had brought his grandkids to play in the rec area behind the school Saturday. He said he had no idea crews were replacing broken glass around the front.

"My daughter was here for seven years, so in the area we live in, it really doesn’t surprise me, but it’s sad to hear this happened to this school," he said. "It’s a good school."

Other DCPS schools have had scares as well.

In June 2019, the front windows of Hendley Elementary School were shot through in two separate shootings in a span of two weeks.

a close up of a window © Provided by TEGNA Inc.

RELATED: 'It's something that no student should have to walk up on' | Gunfire damages elementary school in Southeast DC

A School Board member told WUSA 9 that Hendley has repaired its windows and will be increasing security at the school this year.

Bush, however, isn't convinced that will keep children any safer from this type of violence.

"I’m just afraid the kids are going to be here the next time something like this happens," he said.

He wants to let his kids enjoy their last few carefree days of summer, but he gives them very specific instructions for when school starts.

"Just mind your business," he said. "Keep doing what you have to do. Come straight home."

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