A New Jersey school district has a zero-tolerance policy on gun possession – even when it happens at a gun range and on the weekend.
A New Jersey school district that allegedly suspended two high school students this week over a gun photo taken during a family visit to a private shooting range is facing community backlash and the threat of a lawsuit over district policies.
The photo of four rifles, ammunition clips and a gun duffel bag was shared by one of the students on the social media app Snapchat with the caption “fun day at the range,” according to Lacey Township resident Amanda Buron, a family friend of one of the students.
A screen capture of the image made the rounds among other students and later brought to the attention of Lacey Township High School officials. Buron said the students received a five-day in-school suspension for violating the school’s policy on weapons possession.
The suspension was issued under a policy outlined in the district’s “Student/Parent Handbook.” [empahsis added]
Possession of Weapons
In accordance with the Safe Schools Initiative, the Zero Tolerance For Guns Act, P.L. 1995 and its companion C.128 and the Lacey Township School Board’s Zero Tolerance Policy, any
student who is reported to be in possession of a weapon of any type for any reason or purpose whether on or off school grounds during the academic year shall be disciplined as follows:
A. Long term suspension.
B. Evaluation by the high school Child Study Team.
C. Recommendation by the administration to the Board of Education for suspension for at least 1 year.
Just holding a gun, even if off-campus, can get a student kicked out of school for an entire year if the school board wants to. If a student hunts, target shoots, or shoots competitively, it could result in severe penalties in clear violation of The Second Amendment. Scott Back, Executive Director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Club, said the policy needs to be fixed.
“Schools do not have the authority to chill the rights of their students off of school grounds, and this blatant infringement of constitutional rights will not be tolerated,” Bach said. “I don’t care if no students were disciplined. The policy has got to go.”
Full 2017/18 Parent/Student Handbook from Lacey Township High School
The weapons policy can be found on page 55.Student Handbook 2017-2018