A California elementary school principal was placed on administrative leave after children and parents complained about her behavior during an active shooter drill.
Dr. Nina Denson allegedly pretended to shoot students and told one child, "Boom, you're dead," while conducting an unauthorized lockdown drill, local news station KTLA reported.
"She proceeded to walk around campus and pretended to shoot people she saw using finger movements and banging on windows," parent Jennifer Chaves told the outlet. "From what I heard, she said to one of the students, ‘Boom. You’re dead.’"
Chavez said her son, who is in first grade, was traumatized by the incident.
"Oh he was really upset," she told KTLA. "The one shocking, surprising thing he said as a 6-year-old was, ‘I’m just really glad none of my friends died.’"
There were reportedly children as young as 4 years old present at the school who witnessed Denson's alleged actions.
San Gabriel Unified School District Jim Symonds said the active shooter drill was not authorized and did not follow district policy.
"This type of drill where a scenario was run is not approved by the district nor part of our district protocol," Symonds told the news station.
School staff members reportedly claimed that Denson made an announcement after the drill saying seven children were dead.
"Can you imagine the trauma these children potentially could go through just thinking, ‘Oh my God, my friend was killed’ or ‘I was shot and told I died,’" said parent Anna Bustamante. "At the young age that these children are, it was very upsetting."
KTLA reported excerpts from an email to parents after the incident stating, "The conduct of the drill does not appear to have been in line with District protocols or best practices."
The report said an investigation has been opened. Some parents are already calling for Denson to be removed.
"I don’t want her back here at all," said Chavez. "She does not have the trust of the community."
Several staff members were also reportedly upset by Denson's alleged actions. District officials told KTLA counselors were made available on school premises for any students or staff who may need those services.
A veteran teacher at Washington Elementary has assumed the duties of interim principal while the investigation proceeds, KTLA reported.
Denson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
There are 5,175 students enrolled in the San Gabriel Unified School District, which runs eight schools.