Firearms or Weapons on School Campuses
Firearms or Weapons on School Campuses
State law complies with minimum requirements of the federal Gun-Free Schools Act (GFSA).
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 Statutes 16 V.S.A. § 1162. Suspension or expulsion of students
(a) A superintendent or principal may, pursuant to policies adopted by the school board that are consistent with State Board rules, suspend a student for up to 10 school days or, with the approval of the board of the school district, expel a student for up to the remainder of the school year or up to 90 school days, whichever is longer, for misconduct: (1) on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity when the misconduct makes the continued presence of the student harmful to the welfare of the school; (2) not on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity where direct harm to the welfare of the school can be demonstrated; or (3) not on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity where the misconduct can be shown to pose a clear and substantial interference with another student's equal access to educational programs. (b) Nothing contained in this section shall prevent a superintendent or principal, subject to subsequent due process procedures, from removing immediately from a school a student who poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process of the school, or from expelling a student who brings a weapon to school pursuant to section 1166 of this title. (c) Principals, superintendents, and school boards are authorized and encouraged to provide alternative education services or programs to students during any period of suspension or expulsion authorized under this section.
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.
Vermont Statutes 16 V.S.A. § 563. Powers of school boards; form of vote
(5) Shall keep the school buildings and grounds in good repair, suitably equipped, insured, and in safe and sanitary condition at all times. The school board shall regulate or prohibit firearms or other dangerous or deadly weapons on school premises. At a minimum, a school board shall adopt and implement a policy at least consistent with section 1166 of this title and 13 V.S.A. § 4004, relating to a student who brings a firearm to or possesses a firearm at school.