Zero Tolerance Policy for Weapons
It is the policy of Barnum Public Schools, ISD No. 91, to maintain a safe, positive and secure learning and working environment. In striving to attain such an environment, the School District takes the position of no tolerance for weapons and violence in our schools. All weapons or instruments that have the appearance of weapons are prohibited within all school environments and the school zone, except for educational purposes as authorized in advance by the building principal or designee. School environments include, but are not limited to, School District-owned buildings and land; leased or rented facilities used for school/school-related purposes; school-sponsored activities; field trips; school vehicles and buses; school bus stops. Anyone found to be in possession of a weapon in any area defined in this policy before, during or after school hours is subject to administrative and/or legal action.
Students and non-students, including employees and other adults, are forbidden to knowingly or voluntarily possess, store in any area subject to one’s control, handle, transmit or use any instrument that is considered a weapon or a “look-alike” weapon in any of the school environments listed above. Students who see or who become aware of a weapon at school must neither touch it nor remain in the presence of a person or group if a weapon is present. Students must notify an adult immediately for the safety of all concerned.
“Weapon” means any firearm whether loaded or unloaded; any chemical, substance, device or instrument designed as a weapon or through its use capable of threatening or producing bodily harm or death; or any device or instrument that is used to threaten, strike terror or cause bodily harm or death. Finding a weapon on the way to school and bringing the weapon to the principal’s office immediately upon arrival at school is not a violation of this policy.
The specific administrative procedure for all weapons violations is:
- The weapon will be confiscated by school officials or, if necessary, legal authorities will be called to provide assistance in confiscation. The superintendent or designee will be notified immediately.
An administrative hearing with the student will be held, which will a) inform the student that the weapon policy of the School District has been violated; b) confront the student with the evidence; c) provide an opportunity for the student to respond to the allegations; d) notify the student’s parent/legal guardian about the situation; e) if a firearm (gun or rifle) is involved, the State of Minnesota mandates an automatic one calendar year expulsion. Use of a weapon in a threatening manner will result in a formal hearing with an administrative recommendation for expulsion. f) The possession of a firearm or the use of any weapon in a threatening manner will result in formal charges involving the police in addition to any penalty assessed by the School District.
If the alleged violator is “a student with a disability” pursuant to Minnesota and federal law, special due process procedures are required. Within five working days of a suspension, a special education team meeting shall occur. The team shall determine whether the weapon policy violation is related to the student’s disability. If the team determines that the misconduct is unrelated to the student’s disability, the student will be disciplined in the same manner as students without disabilities. The disabled student who violates this weapons policy will not be expelled if the assessment team determines that the misconduct is related to the student’s disability. If following suspension and readmission to school, the student continues to violate the policy and the parent/guardian will not agree to a more restrictive placement, school officials may seek court assistance to expel the student.