The purpose of this policy is to assure a safe environment for students, staff and the public.
The General Statement Policy is as follows: No student or nonstudent, including adults and visitors, shall possess, use or distribute a weapon when in a school location. The Academy of Holy Angels will act to enforce this policy and to discipline or take appropriate action against any student, teacher, administrator, school personnel, or member of the public who violates this policy.
- A weapon means any object, device or instrument designed as a weapon or through it use is capable of threatening or producing bodily harm or which may be used to inflict self-injury including, but not limited to, any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded; airguns; pellet guns; BB guns; all knives; blades; clubs; metal knuckles; nunchucks; throwing stars; explosives; fireworks; mace or other propellants; stun guns; ammunition; poisons; chains; arrows; and objects that have been modified to serve as a weapon.
- Threats of physical harm, including but not limited to hit lists and bomb threats, are considered weapons and will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
- No person shall possess, use or distribute any object, device or instrument having the appearance of a weapon and such objects, devices or instruments shall be weapons including, but not limited to, weapons listed above which are broken or non-functional; look-alike guns; toy guns; and any object that is a facsimile of a real weapon.
- No person shall use articles designed for other purposes (i.e., belts, combs, pencils, files, scissors, etc.) to inflict bodily harm and/or intimidate and such use will be treated as the possession of and use of a weapon.
School location includes a school building and its grounds, whether owned or leased or controlled by the school, locations of school activities or trips, bus stops, school buses or school vehicles, school-contracted vehicles, the area of entrance or departure from school premises or events, specifically including the parking areas of St. Peter’s Catholic Church, and all locations where school-related functions are conducted, including co-curricular activities.
Possession means having a weapon on one’s person or in an area subject to one’s control in a school location
- A person who finds a weapon on the way to school or in a school location, or a student who discovers that he or she accidentally has a weapon in his or her possession, and takes the weapon immediately to the Principal’s office, shall not be considered in possession of a weapon. Similarly, if it would be impractical or dangerous to take the weapon to the Principal’s office, a student shall not be considered to possess a weapon if he or she immediately turns the weapon over to a staff member or immediately notifies a staff member of the weapon’s location.
- A person who receives advance written authorization from the Principal to possess a weapon in a school location shall not be deemed to be in violation of this policy. In addition this policy does not apply to law enforcement officials engaged in the performance of official duties. This policy does not apply to the use of appropriate work equipment and tools used by staff.
Consequences for Student Weapon Possession/Use/Distribution
The Academy of Holy Angels takes a position of “Zero Tolerance” in regard to the possession, use or distribution of weapons by students. Consequently, the minimum consequence for students possessing, using or distributing weapons shall include:
- Immediate out-of-school suspension
- Confiscation of the weapon
- Immediate notification of police
- Parent or guardian notification
- Recommendation of dismissal
The consequences imposed on a student for a weapons policy violation are not appealable.
A student who brings a firearm, as defined by federal law, to school will be expelled. The school board may modify this requirement on a case-by-case basis.
Policy Application to Instructional Equipment/Tools. While the Academy of Holy Angels takes a firm “Zero Tolerance” position on the possession, use of distribution of weapons by students, such a position is not meant to interfere with instruction or the use of appropriate equipment and tools by students and staff. Such equipment and tools, when properly possessed, used and stored, shall not be considered a violation of the rule against the possession, use or distribution of weapons by students. However, when authorized instructional and work equipment and tools are used in a potentially dangerous or threatening manner, such possession and use will be treated as possession and use of a weapon. The Academy of Holy Angels will provide all the appropriate equipment and tools necessary for a student to participate in a course or activity. Students are not allowed to bring equipment or tools to school.
Administrative Discretion. While the Academy of Holy Angels takes a “Zero Tolerance” position on the possession, use or distribution of weapons by students, the Principal may use discretion in determining whether, under the circumstances, a course of action other than the minimum consequences specified above is warranted. If so, other appropriate action may be taken, including consideration of a recommendation of lesser discipline.
Enforcement of Policy for Employees and the Public
- An employee who violates the terms of this policy is subject to disciplinary actions, including suspension or discharge as deemed appropriate by the school board. In addition law enforcement may be notified, as appropriate.
- A member of the public who violates this policy shall be informed of the policy and asked to leave the school location. If appropriate, law enforcement officials will be notified and may be asked to provide an escort.
Procedures if a student or staff member is aware of a weapon brought to school
- Immediately notify the building administrator in charge or teacher.
- Tell them the name of the person suspected of bringing the weapon, where the weapon is located, if the suspect has threatened anyone, or any other details that may prevent the suspect from hurting someone or himself or herself
- If a teacher suspects that a weapon is in the classroom, he or she should confidentially notify a neighboring teacher or the administrator in charge. Do not leave the classroom.
Procedures for the building administrator in charge if a weapon is suspected
- Call the local law enforcement agency if a weapon is reasonably suspected to be in the building or on school grounds
- Depending on the circumstances, initiate ALICE or a Code Yellow
- Isolate the suspect from the weapon, if possible. If the suspect threatens with the weapon, do not try to disarm the suspect. Back away with arms up. Stay calm
- Ask another administrator or staff member to join in questioning the suspect
- Escort the suspect to a private office or isolated area and wait for law enforcement.
- In the presence of the student and staff member, the Principal, Assistant Principal, /dean of Students, or designee (i.e., police, or another administrator), is authorized to search the student his or her property. This search includes, but is not limited to, the student’s backpack, computer bag, purse, or other belongings, the student’s locker, and the student’s vehicle and confiscation of any contraband.
- Document the incident and report it, if appropriate. (Minn. Stat. 121A.06 - Reports of dangerous weapon incidents in school zones)
- Notify parents or guardians per school policy, if appropriate
- Initiate the grief counseling plan, if appropriate.