Guns Free Schools Policy

Guns Free Schools Policy


I. The Otsego Northern Catskills (ONC BOCES) maintains a commitment to the maintenance for a safe educational environment. As a result of this commitment, no student may bring onto any premises owned, leased or contracted for by ONC BOCES, or shall have in his or her possession on any such premises any firearm as defined in Federal law. More specifically, for purposes of this policy, the term "firearm" shall mean; any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of such weapon; any firearm muffler or silencer or any destructive device (18 USC Section 921).

II. In accordance with the Gun Free School Act of 1994, any student found guilty of bringing a firearm onto any ONC BOCES premises, or having such firearm in his or her possession on any such premises after a hearing has been provided under Educational Law Section 3214, will be subject to at least one-year suspension from attending the BOCES program, unless the district superintendent or his designee shall review the penalty and may modify the penalty based on factors set forth in Section 100.2 of the Regulations of Commissioner of Education and in Commissioner’s Decisional Law. Those factors may include:

     a) The age of the student;
     b) The student’s grade in school;
     c) The student’s prior disciplinary record;
     d) Other extenuating circumstance
     e) The district superintendent’s or his/her designee’s belief that other forms of discipline in place of or in conjunction with suspension will be more appropriate for that particular student.       

III. In the case of a student who is classified as disabled under the individuals with Disabilities Act and Part 200 of the Commissioner’s Regulations, or as handicapped within the meaning of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and its accompanying regulations, the home school district and ONC BOCES shall follow the appropriate procedures in imposing any discipline under this policy.

IV. Nothing in this policy shall prevent the home school district or ONC BOCES district from utilizing short-term measures such as suspension of less than five days or in-school suspensions in dealing with student disciplinary problems. In addition, nothing in the policy shall limit the authority of ONC BOCES to offer courses in the safe use of firearms under Educational Law Section 809a.