It is the policy of the State CollegeAreaSchool District that all students will attend schools that are safe, secure and free from the threat of harm. Possession of weapons in the school environment is a threat to the safety of students and staff and is prohibited by law.
The State CollegeAreaSchool District prohibits possession of weapons and replicas of weapons in any school district building, on school property, at any public conveyance providing transportation to or from school or a school sponsored activity. If weapons are found in the schools, the District will take all appropriate steps to remove the weapons and carry out the relevant provisions of Act 26 of 1995.
Act 26 of 1995 states that any student violating the law will be expelled from school for a period of not less than one (1) year. Such expulsion shall be given in conformance with formal due process proceedings required by law and District policy. Discipline short of expulsion for one (1) year is legal only when recommended by the Superintendent of Schools. The Superintendent’s decision to recommend a modification of the one (1) year expulsion will be made on a case-by-case basis. In the case of an exceptional student, the Superintendent shall take all the necessary steps to comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Act.
“Weapons” shall include, but not be limited to, any knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nunchaku, firearm, shotgun, and rifle. “Weapons” shall include any other tool, instrument, implement, or replica of a weapon used in a threatening manner and/or capable of inflicting serious bodily harm.
“School Property” shall mean any public school grounds, any school sponsored activity or any conveyance providing transportation to or from a school entity or school sponsored activity.
“Possession” shall mean having the weapon on his or her person. An individual will also be deemed to be in possession of a weapon if the weapon is found in his or her personal property (e.g., backpack, purse, gym bag) or in a place where the individual exercises control (e.g., vehicle or locker).
The District will provide information annually to students, parents, and staff about the policy regarding weapons and the consequences that are specified as part of the laws of the Commonwealth.
The District will take steps to investigate thoroughly incidents involving the possession of weapons and take steps to remedy the situation when reasonable suspicion is established.
The District will cooperate fully with law enforcement officials when an incident occurs involving an act of violence or possession of a weapon on school property. Reports of incidents will be communicated to the appropriate law enforcement officials, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding to be developed between the District and local law enforcement pursuant to the terms of Act 26 of 1995.
The provisions of this law do not apply to a weapon that is possessed and used in conjunction with a lawful supervised school activity or class or a weapon that is unloaded and is possessed by an individual while traversing school property for the purpose of obtaining access to public or private lands used for lawful hunting, if the entry on school premises is authorized by school authorities.
The District has the legal responsibility to report twice during a school year to the Department of Education, office of Safe Schools, all new incidents involving acts of violence on school property. Such report shall include: age or grade of student; name and address of school; circumstances surrounding the incident including type of weapon; sanction imposed by the District; notification of law enforcement; remedial programs involved; parental involvement required; and arrests, convictions and adjudications, if known.