ECASD approves changes to weapons on school premises policy - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

ECASD approves changes to weapons on school premises policy

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Monday night, the Eau Claire Area School Board began its meeting with a moment of silence and words of support for the community of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.  

"I, along with everyone else, am deeply saddened and concerned about what happened in a public school on Friday and our hearts go out to the school community of Sandy Hook. We extend our deepest sympathy to them," says Eau Claire Area School District Superintendent, Dr. Mary Ann Hardebeck.

Monday night, the board approved changes to the district's policy about weapons on school premises. Because of changes in state law, the policy has been updated to include a ban on possession and use of firearms, other destructive devices, and dangerous weapons.  Also, the discipline of students who break the rules is now more clearly defined. 

The district says these changes were already in motion before the shooting in Connecticut. But, leaders talked about why it is important to be updating policies in light of what happened. 

"We need to be as proactive as we can and trying to establish policies and procedures that minimize the likelihood or the potential for violence to be perpetuated on campus. And this is one way we have the legal authority and then the disciplinary authority to take action if we ever needed to, says Eau Claire Area Assistant Superintendent, Tim Leibham

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Weapons on School Premises (ECASD) - No one shall use or possess a firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, any destructive device, or other dangerous weapon (as defined under Section 948.61  of the state statutes) in school buildings and other buildings owned, occupied or controlled by the school district, on school premises, in school provided transportation, or at any school- sponsored or school-supervised activity, except as otherwise specifically authorized in this policy.  Any object which could be used to cause bodily injury or property damage and which has no school-related purpose for being in school or on school grounds, will be considered a weapon for purposes of this policy.

A student who possesses a firearm or destructive device in violation of this policy shall be
suspended from  school, referred for an expUlsion hearing,  and expelled from school for not less than one year. The School Board may modify this expUlsion requirement on a case-by-case
basis,  provided that the request for such an exception is also consistent with the discretionary
exceptions authorized under state law. Students possessing other weapons in violation of this or any other policy or rule shall be subject to appropriate school disciplinary action, up to and
including suspension and expUlsion from  school.  A parent or guardian with access to student
records will  be notified of student weapons violations in  all cases.  A law enforcement or juvenile justice referral shall also be made for all students violating this policy.

Employees violating this policy shall be disciplined in accordance with employee policies and
handbooks and referred to law enforcement officials for prosecution. Any other person violating
this policy shall be referred to law enforcement officials for prosecution.

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