Weapons Policy

Weapons Policy

For more information, please read District Policy #218.1.

The Owen J. Roberts School Board has adopted a policy that prohibits students from possessing weapons on school property and at school activities. This policy also provides for investigation and notification procedures in the event the presence of a weapon is suspected to be on school property or at a school activity. The complete policy (218.1) adopted 12/4/95, amended 7/26/99, and last reviewed 3/4/19 follows:

Purpose

This policy has the purpose of prohibiting students from possessing weapons on school property or at school activities, and providing for investigation and notification procedures in the event of a report of or suspicion of the presence of a weapon on school property or at a school activity.

Definitions

      • The term “possession of a weapon” means when a weapon is found on the person of a student, or under a student’s control, on school property or at any school activity, including any school activity held away from the school property, or while the student is on the way to or from the school property or on any school bus or public or private vehicle providing transportation to or from school property or a school activity.
      • The term “school property” means all buildings, facilities, parking areas and grounds owned or under the control of Owen J. Roberts School District.
      • The term “weapon” [ES1] shall include, but not be limited to, any knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nunchaku, firearm, shotgun, rifle, air rifle, B.B. gun, pellet gun, or any pistol version thereof, explosives or fireworks, brass knuckles or[WM2] other such devices and any other tool, instrument or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily injury. The term "weapon" shall also include items which are replicas or look-alike weapons, whether or not actually capable of inflicting bodily injury and whether or not sold as toys, if the item could by virtue of its appearance or the manner in which displayed cause reasonable apprehension of bodily injury or a threat to a safe school environment.

Offense

Any student found in possession of a weapon, regardless of intent, shall have committed an offense under this Policy.

Procedures

Any school employee who suspects or ascertains that a student is in possession of a weapon shall immediately inform the building principal who will conduct a complete investigation. Upon reasonable cause for suspicion of possession of a weapon, the principal may perform a search of the student, the student’s locker and the student’s vehicle, if applicable, pursuant to Policy 226. In addition, the principal shall have full discretion to request intervention by the police to perform such searches or to take other appropriate action.

Upon confiscation of a weapon, or confirmation that a student is in possession of a weapon, the principal must immediately notify and/or summon:

1. the local police;

2. Superintendent; and

3. the parents/guardians of any student involved in the incident.

The Superintendent shall also provide such information regarding the offense as may be required by the Office For Safe Schools of the Department of Education.

Penalty

In accordance with the provisions of Section 1317.2 of the Pennsylvania School Code, any student found in possession of a weapon shall be expelled for not less than one year. The Superintendent retains prosecutorial discretion and may, therefore, recommend modifications of such expulsion on a case-by-case basis. The Superintendent shall, in the case of an exceptional student, take all steps necessary to comply with all laws applicable to exceptional students. Any expulsion shall be subject to the provisions of Policy 233. Nothing in this Policy 218.1 shall be construed as limiting the authority of the School Board to make an alternative assignment or provide alternative education services during the period of expulsion.

Exception

The provisions of this policy shall not apply to the following:

Possession of a weapon, approved in advance by the building principal and Superintendent, being used as part of a school program by a student who is participating in the program.