So tonight the school board will be asked to adopt a new "Weapons in School" policy to conform to the Gun-Free Schools Act, 20 USC 7151. I might be missing something here, but nothing in the law requires this draconian of a policy: ------------ Mandatory expulsion in accordance with state and federal law Carrying, bringing, using, or possessing a dangerous weapon on district property, in any district or school vehicle, or at any district or school-sponsored activity or event and off school property when the conduct has a reasonable connection to school or any district curricular or non-curricular event without the authorization of the school or the school district is prohibited and is grounds for mandatory expulsion. An exception to this policy may be made for students participating in an authorized extracurricular activity or team involving the use of firearms. Dangerous weapons include, but are not limited to: 1. Firearms, loaded or unloaded 2. Pellet or BB guns or other devices, whether operational or not, designed to propel projectiles by spring action or compressed air. 3. Fixed-blade knives with blades that measure longer than three inches in length or spring-loaded knives or pocket knives with blades that measure longer than three and one-half inches in length (the knife blade will be measured from the hilt to the top of the blade); and any knives, regardless of length, which a student uses or presents in a threatening manner. 4. Another object, device, instrument, material, or substance, whether animate or inanimate, used or intended to be used to inflict death or serious bodily injury including, but not limited to slingshot, bludgeon, brass knuckles or artificial knuckles of any kind.. 5. Any other object identified and defined as a dangerous weapon by state or federal law. Unless expulsion is otherwise required by federal law, a student may, but need not, be expelled for violating this policy if, as soon as possible upon discovering that he or she is in possession of a dangerous weapon, the student notifies and delivers the weapon to a teacher, administrator, or other authorized person. In accordance with federal and state law, expulsion shall be for one calendar year for any student who is determined to have brought a firearm to school without the authorization of the school or the District. The superintendent may reduce the length of this required expulsion period on a case-by-case basis. For purposes of this policy, a firearm includes: a. any weapon, including a starter gun, which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; b. the frame or receiver of any such weapon described above; c. any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or d. any destructive device Any destructive device is defined as: a. any explosive, incendiary or poison gas, bomb, grenade; rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces; missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce; mine; or similar device described in paragraphs a-d above. b. any type of weapon which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter; and c. any combination or parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into any destructive device described above and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled. Student possession or use of fixed-blade knives with blades that measure less than three inches in length or pocket knives with blades that measure less than three and one-half inches in length (the knife blade will be measured from the hilt to the top of the blade), box cutters, razor blades, hobby knives and similar instruments without the specific authorization of a school official is prohibited. The possession or use of such items without authorization may be grounds for disciplinary action including, but not limited to suspension or expulsion. In addition, referral to law enforcement authorities may occur as appropriate. Discretionary discipline in accordance with state law Carrying, using, actively displaying or threatening with the use of a firearm facsimile that could reasonably be mistaken for an actual firearm on district property, when being transported in vehicles dispatched by the district or one of its schools, during a school-sponsored or district-sponsored activity or event, and off school property when such conduct has a reasonable connection to school or any district curricular or non-curricular event without the authorization of the school or school district is prohibited. Students who violate this policy provision may be subject to disciplinary action including but not limited to suspension and/or expulsion. A student may seek prior authorization from the building principal to carry, bring, use or possess a firearm facsimile that could reasonably be mistaken for an actual firearm on school property for purposes of a school-related or non-school related activity. A students failure to obtain such prior authorization is a violation of this policy provision and may result in disciplinary action, including but not limited to suspension and/or expulsion. The principals decision to deny or permit a student to carry, bring, use or possess a firearm facsimile that could reasonably be mistaken for an actual firearm on school property shall be final. School administrators shall consider violations of this policy provision on a case-by-case basis to determine whether suspension, expulsion or any other disciplinary action is appropriate based upon the individual facts and circumstances involved. Record Keeping As required by law, the District shall maintain records which will describe the circumstances involving expulsion of students who bring weapons to school, including the name of the school, the number of students expelled, and the types of weapons involved. Any student bringing a firearm or other dangerous weapon to school without authorization shall be referred to law enforcement officials as appropriate in accordance with applicable law. -------------- "Off school property" with a "reasonable connection"?? That's not defined anywhere. Also, the carrying-anything-that-looks-like-a-gun part, especially when it isn't restricted just to school property, is troubling to me. It's awfully broad. Your thoughts please. I have a vote.