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

Well before, actually. 1973, with the concept popularized in 1982, according to the Wikipedia article.

I would venture to guess that 99% of vehicles are either under way or locked. It’s a safe and reasonable assumption.

“You know, Jimmy, I hate everyone at school and want them to die. Let’s get some guns and kill everybody there.”

“No way, Billy - bringing a gun within 1000 feet of a school is against the rules!”

“Darn. Well. I guess I will get that part-time job instead.”


According to the article, the principal says Education Code requires the school pursue expulsion. The student would have been expelled under a school rule (Education Code), not the federal statute.

If I own an ice cream shop, or a hamburger stand, five hundred feet from a school, and several students hang out there before or after class, do I have to follow rules set by the principal or the board of education?

No, but the students might have to.

Wow. Didn’t know that. I did know it spread a lot after Columbine.

I know. However, several individuals apparently did not, possibly including the principal in question.

What’s kind of funny about this is that within 1000 feet from my Junior High was a Jail, and 1000 feet from my High School (now not when I went there) is an entire minimall.

Note that what the school did was expulsion, not an arrest or fine. They might have a leg to stand on if it’s a clearly laid out school policy that, as a condition of attending that school, students are not allowed to have weapons while en route between their homes and school (I won’t speculate as to whether or not they actually had such a clear policy in place, just saying that they might). Without that, though, I can’t see a case for them, and this being a public school, even that might not pass legal muster.

A lot of this doesn’t pass the sniff test.

Consider two other equally plausible scenarios: 1.) Instead of a shotgun, it was a bunch of meth, in small bags. 2.) It was a known pedophile.

I think that in either of those cases we’d be very quick to punish, and very quick to overlook the “not on school grounds” issue.

The other issue to establish is if the principal has the right to ban guns from his school, and if said principal has the right to expel a student that violates that rule. If you’re arguing that the principal can’t ban guns, than the whole thing is moot. Stop twisting around behind your ideology and just say, “the whole thing is wrong because the principal can’t ban guns from school.” Which from what I can tell is exactly what Shodan regarded us with.

It seems to me that when the kid uses the truck to drive to school and then parks near by, that might as well be school grounds. The kid drove the truck to school, ergo he took the gun to school. Saying the principal has no jurisdiction seems like a slap in the face. The truck could literally be across the street. So if we agree it would be wrong for the gun to be in the truck in the school parking lot, why is it such a stretch to say it’s wrong for the same gun to be across the street?

The way I see it, the principal has a responsibility to the property, and to the students. His job doesn’t end the second the kids cross the street. Which is why if it was just some dude that lived across the street, it has nothing to do with the principal.

As far as I can tell, the principal is trying to do is job, and at the very least did a bad job of it. But it seems under the law it makes sense that it would carry forward the idea that:
a) he can expel a kid that brings a gun into the school,
b) he can expel a kid that brings the gun onto school property
c) he can expel a kid that has guns in his car on school property
d) he can expel a kid that came to school with guns and parked across the street.

Basically, if you don’t believe (a) the rest is pointless, argue that.

And one final point, if a bully was terrorizing students, follow the same a -> d path. Expel the kid in the school, or on the property, and carry it forward to expel the kid if he thinks he’s clever by going across the street.

Well, now it would suck if a student lived within that 1000 foot distance. Connecticut school districts got thrashed constitutionally and forced to end the regulation forbidding gun ownership within a certain distance of schools…and if I were the parent, I would do my best to get the school system to eat it raw. If the vehicle is not on school property, they have no reason to try and control anything in that vehicle. It would be as if he had stomped to some random house and tried to have them arrested. As long as the gun was stored properly to code in the vehicle, there is not an issue. [some it has to be locked in the trunk, some in a gun rack, you need to check your state and county and town for the regulations.]
“Geivett said the school was responsible for students traveling to and from school as well as during lunch. He said he believed that students should not possess weapons within 1,000 feet of campus.”

The only question is whether there was a rule in place–either in Education Code or the schools own rules. If it was school’s own rule, it would have to be a rule they were delegated the power to enact.

Cleveland Steamer asks us to assume the rule existed and was clear.

But that’s a rather big assumption, escially given the principal’s use of the word “believe,” during his testimony in lieu of referring to a specific rule from the school district’s publicized rulebook.

So for the moment, I will concede that if the rule exists, the principal can enforce it via explusion.

But does the rule exist?

This I would buy. One principle of lawmaking (including regulatin making) is that the rule must state with sufficient clarity that a reasonable person can read it what behavior is prohibited. “Disruptive behavior” is acceptable if there’s some clear guideline as to what constitutes disruptive behavior. But the principal “believing” he has the right to enforce rules off campus is only valid if he in fact has been told he can do so – and I am curious whether the “mandatory expulsion” rule contemplates such “beliefs.” Students do not check their constitutional rights at the door, though they may be expected to follow rules not mandatory on adults while under school authority.

By the way, this is not a liberal vs. conservative issue, except in the sideline that we’re talking about firearms – it’s a statism vs. libertarianism question, the other axis of the ‘political compass’ graph. What are the limits on a person placed in authority and possibly authorized to promulgate rules?

Are you serious? We’re talking about having an unloaded gun in a truck - an action which is perfectly legal. The issue is whether the school has the authority to expel a student for things he’s not doing at school, or at a school-sponsored event. Now, I don’t know where the law stands on this, but I sure as hell think it stinks, and no, it’s not solely an issue of gun control. I think the current aura of zero-tolerance surrounding guns and knives is a little silly (note that shooting people at school is illegal, and that doesn’t stop people), but I think that falls within the school’s purview. But I don’t think a school’s authority should extend to things happening outside of school, period. I don’t care if it’s across the street or across town, the school has no business poking into student’s outside lives. If they’re doing anything illegal, that’s an issue for the police, but otherwise, it’s nobody else’s business.

I would suppose some wing of the NRA will rush their lawyers to the family’s aid. Further, it seems they ought to.

That’s certainly a defensible position, but it’s not the law. So if your view about how things should be is the correct one, laws need to be changed to effectuate it.

And in other news somebody thinks a law sucks or should be changed or is being misapplied.

I sure am glad someone straightened that out because I was confused for a minute there :rolleyes:

I don’t know much about this whole thing, but I do know that if I were going to go shoot up a school, I wouldn’t be very worried about zero-tolerance policies. I simply wouldn’t bring the gun to school until I was ready to start shooting people.

If there is no rule, the suspension is invalid.

The interesting case is some vague (but not necessarily legally vague) rule about student safety.