Mississippi - Firearms/Weapons on School Campuses: Prohibitions or Restrictions

Area: 
Prohibitions Or Restrictions
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law complies with minimum requirements of the federal Gun-Free Schools Act (GFSA) and adds student supports and protections.

Mississippi Code 1972 37-11-18 Expulsion of student possessing controlled substance or weapon or committing violent act on school property.

Any student in any school who possesses any controlled substance in violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Law, a knife, handgun, other firearm or any other instrument considered to be dangerous and capable of causing bodily harm or who commits a violent act on educational property as defined in Section 97-37-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, shall be subject to automatic expulsion for a calendar year by the superintendent or principal of the school in which the student is enrolled; provided, however, that the superintendent of the school shall be authorized to modify the period of time for such expulsion on a case by case basis. Such expulsion shall take effect immediately subject to the constitutional rights of due process, which shall include the student's right to appeal to the local school board.


Mississippi Code 1972 37-13-92 Alternative school program for compulsory-school-age students; placement of children in alternative school; transportation of students; expenses; annual report.

(1) Beginning with the school year 2004-2005, the school boards of all school districts shall establish, maintain and operate, in connection with the regular programs of the school district, an alternative school program or behavior modification program as defined by the State Board of Education for, but not limited to, the following categories of compulsory-school-age students:

  • (a) Any compulsory-school-age child who has been suspended for more than ten (10) days or expelled from school, except for any student expelled for possession of a weapon or other felonious conduct;

  • (b) Any compulsory-school-age child referred to such alternative school based upon a documented need for placement in the alternative school program by the parent, legal guardian or custodian of such child due to disciplinary problems;

  • (c) Any compulsory-school-age child referred to such alternative school program by the dispositive order of a chancellor or youth court judge, with the consent of the superintendent of the child's school district;

  • (d) Any compulsory-school-age child whose presence in the classroom, in the determination of the school superintendent or principal, is a disruption to the educational environment of the school or a detriment to the interest and welfare of the students and teachers of such class as a whole; and

  • (e) No school district is required to place a child returning from out-of-home placement in the mental health, juvenile justice or foster care system in alternative school. Placement of a child in the alternative school shall be done consistently, and for students identified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), shall adhere to the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. If a school district chooses to place a child in alternative school the district will make an individual assessment and evaluation of that child in the following time periods:

    • (i) Five (5) days for a child transitioning from a group home, mental health care system, and/or the custody of the Department of Human Services, Division of Youth and Family Services;

    • (ii) Ten (10) days for a child transitioning from a dispositional placement order by a youth court pursuant to Section 43-21-605; and

    • (iii) An individualized assessment for youth transitioning from out-of-home placement to the alternative school shall include:

        1. A strength needs assessment.
        1. A determination of the child's academic strengths and deficiencies.
        1. A proposed plan for transitioning the child to a regular education placement at the earliest possible date.

Mississippi Code 1972 37-11-29 Reporting of unlawful activity or violent act on educational property or during school related activity; authority of law enforcement officers; reporting of disposition of charges against student; liability of school personnel participating in reporting.

(3) When the superintendent or his designee has a reasonable belief that an act has occurred on educational property or during a school related activity involving any of the offenses set forth in subsection (6) of this section, the superintendent or his designee shall immediately report the act to the appropriate local law enforcement agency. For purposes of this subsection, "school property" shall include any public school building, bus, public school campus, grounds, recreational area or athletic field in the charge of the superintendent. The State Board of Education shall prescribe a form for making reports required under this subsection. Any superintendent or his designee who fails to make a report required by this section shall be subject to the penalties provided in Section 37-11-35.

(4) The law enforcement authority shall immediately dispatch an officer to the educational institution and with probable cause the officer is authorized to make an arrest if necessary as provided in Section 99-3-7.

(5) Any superintendent, principal, teacher or other school personnel participating in the making of a required report pursuant to this section or participating in any judicial proceeding resulting therefrom shall be presumed to be acting in good faith. Any person reporting in good faith shall be immune from any civil liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.

(6) For purposes of this section, "unlawful activity" means any of the following:

  • (a) Possession or use of a deadly weapon, as defined in Section 97-37-1;

  • (b) Possession, sale or use of any controlled substance;

  • (c) Aggravated assault, as defined in Section 97-3-7;

  • (d) Simple assault, as defined in Section 97-3-7, upon any school employee;

  • (e) Rape, as defined under Mississippi law;

  • (f) Sexual battery, as defined under Mississippi law;

  • (g) Murder, as defined under Mississippi law;

  • (h) Kidnapping, as defined under Mississippi law; or

  • (i) Fondling, touching, handling, etc., a child for lustful purposes, as defined in Section 97-5-23.

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