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Thread: Gun Free School Zone 'defined'

  1. #1
    bhancock
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    The following is an excerpt from our school handbook. Unless this is combining some previous act or legislation, which I don't think it is, it is a very troublesome interpretation or real life application of the law. For me there are at least two obvious problems. 1. The definition of firearm has been expanded to 'dangerous weapon' and includes just about any hardware used to 'assault' another person. 2. It infringes upon the citizens of the student body who have achieved the test of age to be able to carry a firearm for protection and security (in an environment that has become some of the most dangerous places for our children to be, especially before and after school and on the way to and from school). GFSZ really needs to go.

    WEAPONS [/b]
    The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has notified Melrose-Mindoro School District that they have been notified by the U.S. Department of Education that the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 was amended to include the Gun Free Schools Act. This act requires that, as a condition of receiving any assistance under the ESEA, now the Improving America's Schools Act (IASA), a local educational agency (LEA) must implement a policy requiring referral to the criminal justice or juvenile delinquency system of any student who "is determined to have brought" a weapon to school. Also, the LEA is to provide to the state education agency assurance of compliance with the state law that requires expulsion, for a period of not less than one year, of any student who "is determined to have brought" a firearm to school. Under the legislation, the LEA's chief administering officer may modify this expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis.
    Specifically, the act has three requirements applicable to LEA's:
    1) implement a referral policy applicable to a student who "is determined to have brought" a weapon to school,
    2) provide the state education agency with an assurance that the district is in compliance with the state law requiring expulsion, and
    3) submit specific reporting information on discipline imposed under the expulsion requirement, including the name of the school, number of students expelled, and type of weapons involved.
    Melrose-Mindoro School District's definition of a weapon is included in this handbook under the Weapons Policy.
    No person shall possess, handle, transmit, or use a weapon, look-alike weapon, or any object that can reasonably be considered a weapon or dangerous to the physical and mental health, safety, or welfare of any individual;
    1. On the school premises immediately before, during, or immediately after school hours,
    2. On the school property at any other time when the school is being used by a school group,
    3. Off the school property at any school activity, function, or event, or
    4. In a district-owned or contracted vehicle.
    This rule does not apply to any normal school supplies such as pencils, scissors, or compasses unless used with intent to threaten bodily harm. The rule does apply for the following:
    1. Weapon - is defined as a firearm (loaded or unloaded), stun guns, pellet guns, BB guns, knife, razor, martial arts device, explosive device (including firecrackers), materials for making an explosive device, metal knuckles, electronic/chemical mace, tear gas, etc.
    2. Look-alike weapon - is defined as a toy gun, water gun, non-working replica of a weapon, cap gun, popper, war souvenir or any object which could reasonably be mistaken for an actual weapon, regard less of whether it is manufactured for that purpose.
    3. Dangerous object - is defined as any object or device that could be used or construed to be a weapon carried for offensive or defensive purposes and capable of producing death or bodily harm or the fear of such, or any device or instrument which in the manner it is used or intended to be used is calculated or likely to produce death or bodily harm or the fear of such.
    The following are two exceptions to this policy:
    1. Weapons under the control of law enforcement personnel; and
    2. Look-alike weapons or real weapons that are registered and handled in a legal manner for the purpose of
    education as authorized by the principal.
    Weapons, look-alike weapons, or dangerous objects confiscated from a student shall be reported to law enforcement authorities and to parents/guardians, and disciplinary measures shall include immediate suspension from school and all related activities/functions and referral to the Board of Education for possible expulsion from school and all related activities/functions. According to the "Gun Free Schools Act" and state law the school board is required to expel any student determined to have brought a weapon to school for a period of not less than one year. A report will be filed with the SEA of the discipline imposed according to DPI Bulletin #94.10 in accordance with the Disabilities Education Act.


  2. #2
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    This, the Federal Gun Free Schools Act is completely separate from the federal, or state, "Gun Free School Zone" laws.

    Eliminating the GFSZ law wouldn't make a bit of difference to the language above.


    - What da hay?

    Keep Calm and Carry On

  3. #3
    bhancock
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    Thanks for the clarification. I thought they were both part of the same. It is still very troublesome.

  4. #4
    McX
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    i thought the definition of a gun free school zone was; an area, as it's parameters are defined by law, encompasing the area surrounding a school, where criminals may conceal, and move about freely without any fear of action from law enforcement, and law abiding citizens.

  5. #5
    bhancock
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    Ya McX you got it about right. Two years ago at our little rural school one of the farm boys forgot and left his pocket knife in his pocket of all places. Being honest and knowing the policy, he went to the principal and turned it in to him for safe keeping until the end of the day. He has suspended immediately and then expelled for the rest of the school year by the board. On the other hand, the marijuana dealers usually get a 3 day out of school suspension on the first go around. I am sure that our sensible principal would have done it any other way if he would have had another choice. The unofficial word kinda of got around that if you forget it, leave it in your pocket.

  6. #6
    Regular Member CUOfficer's Avatar
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    Good thing I already graduated from there...... Maybe they should take a look in Perry's vehicle when he is parked at the high school....

  7. #7
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    It is my opinion that all those "zero tolerance" school board rules should be challenged in court. Some judgement in common sense is in order. To me the suspension and expulsion for the balance of a school year is unconstitutional as it borders on cruel and unusual punishment. The penalty in the case cited certainly does not fit the crime. When a child understands his error and admits it to authorities the child should be lectured for the error and then commended for doing the proper thing. The school board did acounter productive action. It turned a law abiding child into a criminal because if he ever makes the same mistake again rest assured he is not about to admit it. His situation is undoubtably well know by other students. They also will be turned into liars as a result. We want our young children to grow up to be honest citizens. The education sytem plays a large part in doing so. When it responds with such drastic action as this one did it is doing us a tremendous public disservice and violating our public trust. Not to say the least of how it has more than likely psychologically scarred a young person for the rest of his life.It certainly taught the child that honesty does not pay. It also deprived him of a formulative part of his education. One that surley can affect his future funancial and social success. It's time the parents and legal system take these school boards to task and demand reasonableness in the application of penalties.

    Any response by a school board such as "we must protect our children" is a smoke screen the reality is the school board is scarred s******s of being sued because of some traumatic ocurrance. Most school systems are financially strapped and can ill afford costs of litigation. Time to turn the coin over and sue them for inappropriate discipline and psychological injury.

  8. #8
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    'Zero tolerance' excuses thoughtlessness. The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.

  9. #9
    Regular Member CUOfficer's Avatar
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    I don't even have the words....

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