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James Rumsey Technical Institute’s student code of conduct addresses (1) the possession of weapons, (2) the displaying and brandishing of weapons, (3) instructions for the discovery of such weapons, and (4) legal and disciplinary penalties that may be assessed to such individuals as they apply accordingly. This policy is in accordance with State and Federal Safe Schools Act of 1995 and Senate Bill 46.

Possession or use of a weapon is prohibited by a student who is on school property, including school buses, or who is under the control or supervision of school personnel. The term “weapon” is intended to be construed broadly and includes any instrument or device which, by its design or use, is capable of causing injury, harm or threat of injury to the physical well-being of another person.

Weapons Definitions

The governing definition of “deadly weapon” is found in West Virginia Code 61-7-2, which should be consulted before a student is disciplined under this rule. Under that statute a “deadly weapon” is an instrument which is designed to be used to produce serious bodily injury or death, or is readily adaptable to such use. Under this rule, the term includes, but is not limited to blackjacks, gravity knives, a knife or knife-like implement over 3½ inches in length, switchblade knives, nunchakus, metallic or false knuckles, pistols, revolvers, and other deadly weapons of like kind or character which may be easily concealed on or about the person. West Virginia Code §61-7-2 clarifies that a pocket knife with a blade 3½ inches or less in length, a hunting or fishing knife carried for sports or other recreational uses, or a knife designed for use as a tool or household implement shall not be included within the term “knife” as defined as a deadly weapon unless such knife is knowingly used or intended to be used to produce serious bodily injury or death. For purposes of this policy, the term “deadly weapon” shall also include a “firearm” as defined in section 921, title 18 of the United States Code. Under this statute, the term “firearm” includes, with some exceptions, any weapon which will or is designed to, or may readily be converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas bomb, grenade, rocket (having a propellant charge or more than four ounces), missile (having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce), mine, or similar device; any weapon which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant (and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter); and any combination of parts either designed or intended for us in converting any device into some of the foregoing devices, and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled.

Weapons – Disciplinary Actions

Any student in violation of this policy will be suspended for a period of no less than ten days and may be subject to a long term suspension, up to one year, by the Board of Education and/or Administrative Council as deemed appropriate.

Weapons – Recording Evidence

In conjunction with Senate Bill 46, this policy requires principals, or their designee, to report such violations to the Board of Education. The principals, or designee, are also required to report such violations to the local state police within 72 hours after they occur.

Weapons – Legal Actions

Also stipulated in Senate Bill 46 and in concurrence with this policy, all parents, custodians, and legal guardians of a person under the age of eighteen who know that such person is committing such a violation of this policy, or who have reasonable cause to believe that such a person’s violation is imminent, must report the same to the school or to the police. A person who fails to make such a report is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by fine of not more than $1,000, or a jail term of not more than one year or both. The simple possession of a deadly weapon is a misdemeanor; the possession of a deadly weapon with the intent to commit a crime is a felony. Violators are subject to all penalties in accordance with state and federal laws. Source: Code Reference(s) WV Code 61-7-10, 61-7-11a. Adopted: 11-9-94, Berkeley County Board of Education.