Pellet gun at school violates zero-tolerance policy
As you know, many middle schools and high schools across the country have zero-tolerance policies regarding drugs, alcohol and weapons. If you’re not familiar with the rules at your school, check your Student Handbook for what’s covered and the penalties for violating the rules. It may include suspension or expulsion depending on the circumstances.
Do you know what a “simulated weapon” is? Can you bring a fake knife to school or a plastic water pistol? How about an unloaded paintball gun? Will these get you into trouble? A senior at Verrado High School in Arizona found out in September, 2011. The unnamed student brought a pellet gun to school. A parent saw the boy with the gun in the parking lot and called the police. He was detained and questioned, but not arrested. The police determined that he did not intend to harm anyone.
Although no charges were filed against the student, he was suspended for nine days under the school’s policy. Simulated weapons are meant to look, feel and sometimes sound like the real thing. From a distance it is difficult to tell a real gun from a water gun or toy pistol. There is no room in the school setting for second guessing. It is the school’s responsibility to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. Bomb-making materials or explosive devices are likewise prohibited.
The principal of the high school commented that ongoing education about simulated weapons will be provided including the consequences for violating the policies. There have been cases across the country where discipline has been imposed for everything from a cardboard cut-out of a gun to toy soldiers carrying weapons. In light of Columbine, Red Lake Senior High School, Virginia Tech and other tragedies, schools have to take these situations seriously.
Find out more about zero-tolerance in schools.