14 thoughts on “Zero Tolerance”

  1. That’s a pretty serious extension of the school board’s authority, if it’s allowed to fly – what’s the next step, mandating what posessions a student/family is allowed to own?

    I suppose a good question to ask is whether keeping the gun in his truck was illegal in the first place. If so, that may be the justification used to expel him, and criminal activity may already be written into code as a valid reason for expulsion.


  2. Man, I wish I could edit my comments – that first sentence has no business being a part of the post, it was just a gut reaction. My apologies for detracting from discourse.

    1. I’m confused. What about it “detract[s] from discourse”? It is a serious extension of the school’s authority, and there is cause for concern about how far it will go. We’ve already seen that battle play out in the courts in terms of free speech, and, sadly, the courts allowed it to go too far.

  3. It feels too much like wharrgarbling to me, and there are better ways to say that bounds are being overstepped without coming off as melodramatic. I could be wrong, of course.

    Not trying to be terse – I’m using my phone.

  4. In short, there’s nothing wrong with the question being asked, I just think that I should have asked it better.

  5. Harrison, the legality was addressed in some of the comments at the original news outlet –

    Seems it is illegal under State law to have a firearm within 1000 feet of a school, but with exceptions (such as transport/storage) which will preclude legal charges against the kid.

    Now, this may be a first: Principal “Geivett said the school was responsible for students traveling to and from school …” Maybe, if they are travelling on a school bus, but otherwise I think not.

    Another commenter recalled when, for (anti-theft) safety, students were encouraged to bring their guns in to be stored for the day in the vice-Principal’s office.

  6. I went to high school in California. The weapons/drugs/paraphernalia laws encompass not only what a student can/can’t do or bring on campus, but during transit to and from school as well. Thus, even if you park off-campus, if a weapon was in your possession during transit, you’ve still broken the law (and not just school policy). The 1000-foot rule is irrelevant.

  7. Huh. I read the article but didn’t see any comments, I assume because I’m using my phone, so I’ll have to postulate the aggregate of reactions for what I presume is a moderate and sensible Internet-going public: ‘That’s absurd.’

    I mean, how can the school board actually justify trying to mandate what a student may or may not posess while off school property? The supposition that the school is somehow responsible for ‘student safety’ in nebulously defined circumstances of indefinite duration is false on it’s face – this would mean that they are also responsible for what happens on city streets, or highways or even in the driveways of the student’s homes.

    That being said, is there something like qualified immunity for public officials? Could the family take them to civil court?

  8. Ah – I just saw the comment made by RC. That’s logically consistent, even if the underlying premise is flawed.

    Although… When you say laws do you mean actual laws, or do you mean school district policy? The former is legally defensible to a point (as far as I know), if stupid, but the latter doesn’t seem like it would stand up in any court, the school district not having that kind of jurisdiction, traditionally.

    (I am neither a lawyer nor a school administrator, nor a parent nor even a student anymore, so I feel like I should include a disclaimer about my ignorance on the subject matter)

  9. 1) I think it would be hard to make a case for suing the school for overstepping their authority in a legal sense. I’m pretty sure it would be legal for a private citizen to stroll down the street with a trained dog and call the cops if it alerted on anything. That sounds like what the school did in the initial discovery phase.

    As far as the zero-tolerance rules on the books — I doubt you’d have much look overturning them in the courts unless you can prove that they violate 14th amendment rights or one of the amendments which has been incorporated. For example, if they are systematically applied unfairly to certain ethnic groups.

    You could make an argument for saying that the school board overstepped their authority in a practical or political sense. The better approach here would be by running for school board or pressuring the school board to change the policy. Most local elections have small turn out, so if the entire crowd of local hunters could be persuaded to come out and vote it would likely have significant impact.

    2) If the family causes too much trouble (i.e., sues), I can see the state pressing criminal charges under CA law, or the feds getting involved to press felony charges under the Gun Free School Zones Act. Just because a law is rarely enforced doesn’t mean it can’t be enforced. That is another argument against suing, especially as I think the odds for success are low.

    3) The kid consented to a search. Not to be too cynical, but if the authorities want to do something, you probably have very little to gain by giving them permission. Of course, in this case, they might have been able to get in anyways; they’d have called in a police dog, and when it alerted, then they would have probable cause for a vehicle search. But it would have made it harder.

    4) I think the most disturbing thing in this case is that yet again the magic 1000 foot bubble force field around schools failed to work (similar devices are installed at any gun-free zone, I’m told). When these guns came within 1000′ feet of the school, the force field should have magically kept them out. We must talk to the engineers about this one and get them to fine tune the device. For some reason criminals always seem to bypass the force field, but we’ll get it working eventually!

  10. I know of a case that is somewhat similar to this that I saw on Sean Hannity’s show. It involves an upstate New York high school senior who is also in the army. He got into trouble with his high school for having a tiny pocketknife as part of a survival kit that he stored in the trunk of his car. I also can recall a story of a girl in Colorado who got into trouble for having her drill team rifle in her vehicle, and this thing was not even an actual firearm. It was just a metal tube duct taped to a stock.

    What I don’t understand is how these kids even got in trouble to start with. Maybe they or one of their peers all ran their mouths about what they had in their vehicles. When I was in high school, nobody’s vehicle ever got searched because of something like that, but sometimes our lockers got searched though.

    Anyway, these excessive school policies in California did not do anything to prevent that one girl from being brutally raped for a few hours on campus at her homecoming dance.

  11. Gentlemen, this is just one more reason I advocate homeschooling. Guns are part of the curriculum!

  12. I really can’t help here, I am conflicted with the facts.
    The kid was early morning bird hunting, and the weapon was stored in his personal property, off campus.

    I remember having my shotgun hanging in plave sight in the rear of my truck all day IN the school parking lot. I know it was back in the early 70’s, but I still see no issue with it.

    The kid seemed to know enough to park in the school lot. He should have no consented to a search in hindsite.

    Where has common sense gone? Can someone find it and return it where it needs to be.

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