Section 16-1-24.3

Local boards of education to implement policies requiring expulsion of students who possess firearms in school areas.

(a) All city and county boards of education shall develop and implement local policies and procedures requiring the expulsion of students, for a period of one year, who are determined to have brought to school or have in their possession a firearm in a school building, on school grounds, on school buses, or at other school-sponsored functions. Notwithstanding the foregoing, city and county boards of education and the local superintendent of education of each board may modify the expulsion requirement for a student on a case-by-case basis. Students who are expelled for violation of this section shall not be allowed to attend regular school classes in any public school in the state during the expulsion period. Students who are expelled from schools for firearm possession may be permitted to attend alternative schools designed to provide education services. Discipline of students with disabilities who violate the firearm possession policies of city and county boards of education shall be determined on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

(b) For the purposes of this section, the term "firearm" has the same meaning as defined in Section 921 of Title 18 of the United States Code.

(c) When there are violations of the prohibition on firearms being brought to school or the possession of firearms by students, the school principal shall notify the appropriate law enforcement authority which may include city police, county sheriffs, and the local district attorney. In addition to notification of law enforcement officials, the school principal shall notify the parents of students who violate the firearm-free school environment provided for in this section.

Law enforcement authorities involved with students charged with firearm violations shall refer the violators of this section to the appropriate authority in the judicial system when the action is feasible.

(d) Local education agencies submitting applications for federal funds to the State Department of Education shall include in the application:

(1) An affidavit to affirm that the local education agency has developed and implemented a policy to provide for a gun-free environment in all its public schools.

(2) A description of the circumstances surrounding an expulsion imposed under this section including:

a. The name of the school concerned.

b. The number of students expelled.

c. The types of weapons concerned.

The State Department of Education shall report the information collected from the local education agencies to the Secretary of Education.

(Acts 1995, No. 95-756, 1768, §§1-4.)