Weapons Policy

Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to assure a safe educational environment for students, staff and the public.

The Academy of Holy Angels bans guns in these premises.

General Statement of Policy

No student or non-student, 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 discipline or take appropriate action against any student, teacher, administrator, school personnel or member of the public who violates this policy.

Definition

A. Weapon

  1. A "weapon" means any object, device or instrument designed as a weapon or through its use is capable of threatening or producing bodily harm, or which may be used to inflict self-injury. This includes, but is not limited to, any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded; air guns; pellet guns; BB guns; tazers; all knives; blades; clubs; metal knuckles; numchucks; throwing stars; explosives; fireworks; mace and 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.
  2. No person shall possess, use or distribute any object, device or instrument having the appearance of a weapon. Such objects, devices or instruments shall be treated as 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.
  3. No person shall use articles designed for other purposes (i.e., belts, combs, pencils, files, scissors, etc.) to inflict bodily harm and/or intimidate. Such use will be treated as the possession and use of a weapon.

B. "School Location" includes a school building and its grounds, whether owned, 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 extracurricular and cocurricular activities.

C. "Possession" means having a weapon on one's person or in an area subject to one's control in a school location.

Exceptions

A. 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 to possess 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.

B. 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, and Distribution

A. The Academy of Holy Angels takes a position of "Zero Tolerance" in regard to the possession, use or distribution of weapons by students.

If Academy of Holy Angels has a reason to believe that a student has committed an illegal act or is in violation of the AHA Weapons Policy, the Principal, Assistant Principal, Dean of Students, or designee ( i.e., police, another administrator) is authorized to search the student and 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. (Revised November 2017)

Consequences, to be determined at the sole discretion of Academy of Holy Angels, may include any of the following:

  1. immediate out-of-school suspension pending an investigation;
  2. confiscation of the weapon;
  3. notification of parent or guardian;
  4. immediate notification of police;
  5. expulsion.

B. Policy Application to Instructional Equipment/Tools. While the Academy of Holy Angels takes a firm "Zero Tolerance" position on the possession, use or 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 or staff. Such equipment and tools, when properly possessed, used and stored, shall not be considered to be 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 the 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.

Enforcement of Policy for Employees and the Public

  1. An employee who violates the terms of this policy is subject to disciplinary action, including suspension or discharge as deemed appropriate by the school board. In addition, law enforcement may be notified, as appropriate.
  2. 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.

Legal References:
18 U.S.C. § 921 (definition of firearm)
Minn. Stat. § 609.605 (trespass)
Minn. Stat. § 609.66 (dangerous weapons)

(6/13/11 MN)