Gun Free Schools

1. Subject to the case-by-case exception, any student who is determined to have brought a weapon to a school must be expelled from school for a period of not less than one year. For the purpose of this section, the term “weapon,” means a firearm as such term is defined in Sec. 921 of Title 18, United States Code.[1]

2. If a student is expelled pursuant to section 380.1311(2), the expelling school district must enter that fact on the student’s permanent record. Within 3 days of expelling a student an official of the school district must refer the student to the appropriate county department of social services or county community mental health agency. Notification of this referral must be given by the school district official to the expelled student if he or she is at least 18 years of age or is an emancipated minor, or to the student’s parent or legal guardian.

3. St. Mary’s School will report annually a description of the circumstances surrounding expulsions imposed under the one-year expulsion
requirement, including:
a.    The name of the school concerned
b.    The number of students expelled from such school, and
c.    The type of weapons concerned

4. The above does not apply to a firearm that is lawfully stored inside a locked vehicle on school property, or if it is for activities approved and authorized by the local educational agency and the local educational agency adopts appropriate safeguards to ensure student safety.

Exceptions

St. Mary’s School is not required to expel a student if the student can establish

in a clear and convincing manner at least one of the following:

(1) The object or instrument possessed by the student was not possessed for use as a weapon, or for direct or indirect delivery to another person for use as a weapon.

(2) The weapon was not knowingly possessed by the student.

(3) The student did not know or have reason to know that the object or instrument possessed by the student constituted a dangerous weapon.

(4) The weapon was possessed by the student at the suggestion, request or direction of, or with the express permission of school or police authorities.

Petitioning for Reinstatement

It is the responsibility of the petitioning person (a parent, legal guardian, or the expelled student if he or she is at least 18 years of age or is an emancipated minor), to prepare and submit the petition for reinstatement.

The school board is not required to assist in the preparation of the petition. If a petition form is requested by a person wishing to be reinstated, the school board must make the petition form available. The local school board may include conditions in a petition for reinstatement. If the expelling school board denies a petition for reinstatement, the petitioner may petition another school board for reinstatement. The following timelines and procedures apply to reinstatement.

Grade 5 or below

For a student who was enrolled in grade 5 or below at the time of the expulsion and who has been expelled for possessing a firearm or threatening another person with a dangerous weapon, the parent or legal guardian, or the student (if he or she is at least 18 years of age or an emancipated minor), may initiate a petition for reinstatement any time after 60 school days following the date of the expulsion. A student may be reinstated 90 school days following the date of expulsion.

Grade 6 or above

For a student who was enrolled in grade 6 or above at the time of the expulsion and who has been expelled pursuant to subsection (2), the parent, legal guardian, or the student (if he or she is at least 18 years of age or an emancipated minor), may initiate a petition any time after 150 school days following the date of expulsion. A student may be reinstated 180 school days following the date of expulsion.

Committee Review and Recommendation

Within 10 school days after receiving a petition for reinstatement, the school board must appoint a committee comprised of two school board members, one school administrator, one teacher, and one parent of a student in the school district to review the petition and any supporting information submitted by the petitioner. During this time, the superintendent may prepare and submit information concerning the circumstances of the expulsion and any factors weighing in favor of or against reinstatement.

Not later than 10 school days after being appointed, the committee must review the petition and supporting information together with information provided by the school district and submit a recommendation to the school board. The committee may recommend unconditional reinstatement, conditional reinstatement, or against reinstatement. The recommendation must be accompanied by an explanation of the reasons for the recommendation. If the recommendation is for conditional reinstatement, it must include any recommended conditions. The committee’s recommendation must be based on all of the following factors:

(1) The extent to which reinstatement of the student would create a risk of harm to pupils or school personnel.

(2) The extent to which reinstatement would create a risk of school district or individual liability for the school board or school district personnel.

(3) The age and maturity of the individual.

(4) The student’s school record before the incident that caused the expulsion.

(5) The student’s attitude concerning the incident that caused the expulsion.

(6) The student’s behavior since the expulsion and the prospects for remediation.

(7) If the petition was filed by a parent or legal guardian, the degree of cooperation and support that has been provided by, and that can be expected from, that person if the student is reinstated, including, but not limited to, receptiveness toward possible conditions placed on the reinstatement.

School Board Decision

After receiving the committee’s recommendation, the school board must make a decision no later than the next regularly-scheduled board meeting. The school board must decide to either: reinstate the student, conditionally reinstate the student, or deny reinstatement.

Before conditionally reinstating the student, a school board may require a student and the parent or legal guardian to agree in writing to specific conditions. The conditions may include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Agreement to a behavior contract which may involve the student, parent or legal guardian, and an outside agency;

(2) Participation in, or completion of, an anger management program or other appropriate counseling;

(3) Periodic progress reviews; and

(4) Specified immediate consequences for failure to abide by a condition.

The law provides that the decision of the school board is final.

The Michigan Compiled Laws are accessible on the Internet


[1] The term dangerous weapon means a firearm, dirk, dagger, stiletto, iron bar, knife with a blade over 3 inches in length, pocket knife opened by a mechanical device and brass knuckles (MCL 380.1313(4)). The definition of a firearm in section 380.1311 refers to the definition of that term in the federal Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994 which in turn refers to another section of federal law which defines “firearm” as:

· Any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive;

· The frame or receiver of any such weapon;

· Any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or

· Any destructive devise.