Bremerton school shooting raises child supervision questions

Mar 9, 2012

The anguished father of a little girl who was shot in her third-grade classroom after a 9-year-old boy brought a gun to his Bremerton elementary school says the state failed his daughter.

John Bowman says the boy should not have been allowed to visit his mother — a woman who had her parental rights terminated, had a lengthy history of crime and drug abuse, and who police say left guns unsecured around her home.

But officials and experts say after the boy's uncle had been made his legal guardian, the state no longer had a role to play.

National Coalition for Child Protection Reform president Richard Wexler says legal guardians have the same rights as adoptive or biological parents and can choose who the child sees.

Bowman's attorney, Jeff Campiche, says they are considering filing a lawsuit, possibly against state agencies.