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

Area: 
Prohibitions Or Restrictions
Policy Type: 
regulation; statute
Summary: 

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

Vermont Statutes 16 V.S.A. § 1166. Possession of a firearm at school

(a) In this section, the terms "to school" and "firearm" shall have the same meaning that the terms have in 18 U.S.C. § 921. The school board may expand the definitions, however, provided they remain consistent with federal law.

(b) Each school board shall adopt and implement policies regarding a student who brings a firearm to or possesses a firearm at school, which at a minimum shall include:

  • (1) A provision that any student who brings a firearm to or possesses a firearm at school shall be referred to a law enforcement agency. In addition to any other action the law enforcement agency may take, it may report the incident to the Department for Children and Families.
  • (2) A provision that the superintendent or principal, with the approval of the school board following opportunity for a hearing, shall expel from the school for not less than one calendar year any student who brings a firearm to or possesses a firearm at school; provided, however, the school board may modify the expulsion on a case-by-case basis. Modifications may be granted in circumstances such as:
    • (A) The student is unaware that he or she has brought a firearm to or possessed a firearm at school.
    • (B) The student did not intend to use the firearm to threaten or endanger others.
    • (C) The student has a disability and the misconduct is related to the student's disability.
    • (D) The student does not present an ongoing threat to others and a lengthy expulsion would not serve the best interests of the student.

(c) Annually at a time and on a form determined by the Secretary, each superintendent shall provide the Secretary with a description of the circumstances surrounding expulsions imposed under this section, the number of students expelled, and the type of firearm involved.


Code of Vermont Rules 22-000-009 Section 4311 Procedures

4311.3
(1) When a student, because of his or her conduct or condition, is an immediate threat to himself or herself, others, property or educational environment, the school district may take whatever action is appropriate under the circumstances, including, but not limited to, immediate suspension pending a hearing as soon as possible thereafter. In addition, in cases where a student brings a weapon (as defined in the federal Gun-Free School Act) to school, the school district must refer the student to a law enforcement agency and expel the student for a period of not less than one calendar year unless such expulsion is modified in accordance with the provisions of 16 V.S.A. § 1166(b)(2) in circumstances such as but not limited to:

  • (a) the student is unaware that he or she has brought a weapon to school,
  • (b) the student did not intend to use the weapon to threaten or endanger others,
  • (c) the student is disabled and the misconduct is related to the disability,
  • (d) the student does not present an ongoing threat to others and a lengthy expulsion would not serve the best interest of the student.

(2) In situations where a student with a disability brings a weapon to school, the provisions of regulation 4312(2) shall apply. In any such situation, an opportunity for a hearing prior to an expulsion must be provided prior to the expulsion, pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 1166(b)(2).
Vermont Secretary of State

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