POSSESSION OF FIREARMS/DANGEROUS WEAPONS

Policy Approve By
Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent
Policy Date (original policy date)
Policy Prepared By
Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent
Policy Category
Safety

POLICY/PROCEDURE: 
SUBJECT: POSSESSION OF FIREARMS/DANGEROUS WEAPONS

*A firearm is a weapon or device from which a projectile may be fired by an explosive such as gunpowder.

PURPOSE: 

During the 1999 legislative session, Chapter 167 amended

RCW 9.41.280 - Possessing Dangerous Weapons on School Facilities - Penalty - Exceptions.  The change requires detention or confinement during which an examination and evaluation by either a county designated mental health professional or chemical dependency specialist is conducted, when a juvenile at last 12 years old has been arrested for violating the prohibition possession of any firearm on school premises, school provided transportation, or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by schools.

Following items are prohibited:

  1. Any firearm;
  2. Any dangerous weapon defined in RCW 9.41.250 or RCW 9.41.270;
  3. Any device commonly known as "nun-chu-ka sticks", consisting of two or more length of wood, metal, plastic, or similar substance connected with wire, rope, or other means;
  4. Any device, commonly known as "throwing stars", which are multi-pointed, metal objects designed to embed upon impact from any aspect; or,
  5. Any air gun, including any air pistol or air rifle, designed to propel a BB, pellet, or other projectile by the discharge of compressed air, carbon dioxide, or other gas.
  6. Any device that looks like or is alleged to be a firearm.

Chapter 180 creates a new crime for the discharge of lasers under certain circumstances.  It is a Class C felony for knowingly and maliciously discharging a laser at (among others) a school bus driver while performing his/her official duties.  It is a gross misdemeanor to unlawfully discharge a laser at a person in order to intimidate or threaten.  Unlawful discharge of a laser by a juvenile who has not committed the offense before is a civil infraction warranting a penalty of up to $100. 

Signs are to be posted informing the general public that the campus grounds are “Gun-Free-Zone" and that all violations of this policy and RCW 9.41.280 are to be reported to the superintendent of Public Instruction.

The following persons may carry firearms into school buildings, as necessary, although students engaged in these activities are restricted to the possession of rifles on school premises:

  1. persons engaged in military, law enforcement, or school district security activities;
  2. persons involved in a school authorized convention, showing, demonstration, lecture or firearm safety course;
  3. persons competing in school authorized firearm or air gun competitions; and
  4. any federal, state or local law enforcement officer.


The following persons over eighteen years of age and not enrolled as students may have firearms in their possession on school property outside of school buildings:

  1. Persons with concealed weapons permits issued pursuant to RCW 9.41.070 who are picking up or dropping off students; and
  2. Persons conducting legitimate business at the school and in lawful possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon if the weapon is secured within an attended vehicle, is unloaded and secured in a vehicle, or is concealed from view in a locked, unattended vehicle.

Persons may bring dangerous weapons, other than firearms, onto school premises if the weapons are lawfully within the person’s possession and are to be used in a school-authorized martial arts class.

Persons over eighteen years of age and persons between fourteen and eighteen years of age with written parental or guardian permission may possess personal protection spray devices on school property.  No one under eighteen years of age may deliver such devices, nor may anyone eighteen years or older deliver a spray device to anyone under fourteen or to anyone between fourteen and eighteen who does not have parental permission.

Personal protection spray devices may not be used other than in self-defense as defined by state law.  Possession, transmission or use of personal protection spray devices under any other circumstances is a violation of WSSB policy.

Students who violate this policy are subject to WSSB discipline policies and procedures, including the due process provisions regarding notification of parents.  Students who violate the firearms provision are subject to a minimum one calendar year expulsion, with possible case-by-case modification by the superintendent.  WSSB shall also comply with federal protections for disabled students in the application of this policy.

School officials shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agency and parents or guardians of known or suspected violations of this policy.  Students who violate this policy shall be subject to discipline, including a one-year expulsion for violation involving firearms.

Expulsion/Emergency Expulsion:  Since weapons violations present a clear and present danger to the student, other students, and staff, emergency expulsion immediately removes students who violate this statute from the school setting. 

  1. Expulsion:  Student can remain in school until the three (3) day appeal process is completed.  Violation of subsection 1 of this policy will result in expulsion in accordance with RCW 28A.600.010.  Violation of subsections 2, 3, 4, or 5 of this policy constitutes grounds for expulsion from this State's public schools in accordance with RCW 28A.600.010.  Violation of subsection 6 of this policy constitutes grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion from school.
  2. Re-entry:  Student may ask for re-entry rights.  Decision for re-entry is entirely up to the local school district within the state of Washington.
  3. Special Education Student:  The decision for expulsion of a special education student should be brought to the Multi­disciplinary Team (MDT) (which is the governing body) and an alternate plan of tutoring in the areas of the handicap outside the school should be considered.  If the situation leading to the expulsion is determined not to be the result of the handicapping condition, the expulsion should be upheld.  If the expulsion is a result of the handicapping condition, an expul­sion of longer than the courts will determine 10 days.  (Note: This has not been tested as of the date of this procedure.)
  4. Student Records:  Expulsion information will become part of the stu­dent's permanent file and this information can be released to other districts.

Vancouver area schools:  Schools in the Vancouver area will notify other area schools of expulsions due to firearm or weapons violations.  This will be done for the protection of all students and staff. 

Policy/Procedures

Subject:  Possession of Dangerous Weapons

RCW9.41.250 - Dangerous weapons definition

RCW9.41.270 - Dangerous weapons definition

RCW9.41.280 - Dangerous weapons on school grounds

9.91.160 - Personal protection spray devices

28A.600.420 - Firearms on school premises, transportation, or facilities; penalty; exemptions

RCW9.41.070 - Concealed weapons permits

RCW28A.600.010 - Expulsion

PNA 9710.02 - Lookalike firearms