HS expels student for shotguns being in his truck *off* school property. Can they really do this?

He left shotguns in a truck off-property where school security couldn’t keep an eye on it because he couldn’t be bothered to put them where they belonged, shotgun shells were also readily available in said truck,and another friend had gone bird hunting with him and left his gun in the truck so it was highly likely that other students knew the where the guns were. So much for Mommy’s safety training.
If anything had happened because of this and someone else had gotten hurt or killed, or even if there had been property damage, I guarantee you that the school would have had their asses sued off.

What I find interesting is this statement made by the principal:

If that is true, then would’t the school be liable for any incident that happened off school property while the student is in transit?

If this is actually true then they should be responsible for stopping before/after school fights, student speeding, and all the rest of the stuff that high school kids do until the kids get home. That seems like a stretch. What if the kid goes to the mall instead of home? Is the school responsible for the kid at the mall?

If this is the case I should have sued the hell out of my middle school and high school. I was in an accident or two and a couple fights*.


*Won one, lost one.

Three cheers for the nanny state!


Guilty til proven innocent.

Someone MIGHT (really low statistical probability) have gone on a rampage with the shotguns.

Even though there is no evidence that:

A) the student showed any sign of going on a rampage
B) statistical evidence of shootings being on the fly, as usually they are planned
C) people going on a rampage in a school with random weapons they just stole from someone’s truck off-campus.

Basically the very fact of the guns existence is enough to assume that some kind of rampage is going to occur.


Yay Nanny State!

Did he consent to a search? I guess it was his mistake if he did. Otherwise, I can’t see how he could be subject to a search off school property. School rules and state law can’t supercede the 4th amendment.

I’m sorry-did you accidentally post this here instead of some other message board? Nobody has brought up the possibility of this student going on a rampage. I brought up the very real possibility of someone else breaking into his truck, getting the shotguns and shells, and causing damage, and the almost certainty of the school getting sued if this were to happen.

Except that’s just some bullshit you simply made up and then got all uppity about.

There is no reason to believe either that it would happen, or that the school would be blamed for it. I bet the school could successfully argue that the guns were stolen off campus.

I am not siding with anybody. I am saying the student will lose a law suit.

So does the schools zero-tolerance policy apply to drugs in students cars off campus? If a student has some aspirin or pot in their car withing 1000 feet of the school are they also subject to expulsion? I see this as a gross over reach by the school and bad zero tolerance policy. I find it troubling that the school feels it has the right to search cars and punish students so far from it’s borders.

It does not matter if these things are very unlikely. The particular situation of this student is irrelevant.

For this rule to be struck down, the student is going to have to show there was no relation between the rule to prevent bringing guns within a 1000 feet (if that is distance the rule states) and school safety.

Even the most remotely possible scenario where bringing a gun within 1000 feet of the school could led to an injury will justify this law.

The student has no chance of winning a lawsuit.

So the school hired scent sniffing dogs to smell around the neighborhood?

The search could raise other issues. But there is no indication of a search violation.

I do not know what this schools drug policy is.

Since when do schools have the authority to pass regulations regarding something happening off of their property?

The article does not say. The police might just do this around the school.

Probably not a violation under Illinois v. Caballes.

You’re probably right, but that’s not what I was responding to.

First, the article does not state, but Sage Rat said above, that the vehicle was locked. The article did state that the student opened the vehicle for a search.

These quotes from the article intrigued me:

On the one hand, the principal is acting on what he believes his authority extends to, then claiming he’s mandated to pursue expulsion. He’s talking about bringing weapons “on campus” and then extending “campus” to the surrounding area. The relevant Federal law makes clear exception for the shotguns in question – whether or not they were in fact locked in the truck, as Sage Rat avers.

Nope, you were responding to claims that were never made.

Polycarp has it right. The principle has no authority here unless my reading of the law is wrong, and I’m pretty sure I am not wrong, since otherwise I would not be posting this. SInce I am posting this, I am therefore right. :wink:

Seriously, first off, the law is barely Constitutional and probably could never be used to any public purpose. Frankly, it is an utter joke, although exactly why would be a pointless excercise here.

The key passage is as follows:

(1) It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.
Exception: This does not include possession of a firearm on private property that is not part of school grounds or possession of a loaded firearm by an individual who is licensed to do so by the State. (i.e. a concealed carry, weapon, or firearm permit).

The law does define the distance as 1000 ft from defined school grounds. However, it’s not clear how the personal property exemptionwould apply here. And as I mentioned, it’s utterly unprosecutable, so you will not see the law being used (which leads to the following…)
And finally… deep breath

The law is entirely and competely effin irrelevant anyway! It has no moral or legal relationship with what the principle did, which was entirely under his own incompetently-used authority to punish high school students for anything he likes however he likes.

This is factually incorrect and another excuse to wallow in political idiocy. Zero Tolerance policies began and developed at least during the Clinton administration and possibly even earlier.

I poked around on the Willows Unified District school board policy website which linked to CA policy website. Use name “willows” and PW “policymanual” to log on if you wish.

I believe this is the policy they are referring to

Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995

Here is a wiki on the GFSZA act of 1990 and 1995 revision when it was ruled unconstitutional.