(a) Each district board of education shall adopt and implement policies and procedures regarding student offenses involving firearms, as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1(f) and 18 U.S.C. § 921, pursuant to the Zero Tolerance for Guns Act, N.J.S.A. 18A:37-7 through 12. The policies and procedures shall apply to a student who is:
1. Convicted or adjudicated delinquent for possession of a firearm on school grounds;
2. Convicted or adjudicated delinquent for committing a crime while in possession of a firearm on school grounds; and
3. Found knowingly in possession of a firearm on school grounds.
(b) Each district board of education shall immediately remove from the school's general education program for a period of not less than one calendar year a student other than a student with a disability, as set forth in (a) above.
1. The chief school administrator may modify on a case-by-case basis the removal of a general education student.
i. The chief school administrator shall develop and maintain a written record of case-by-case modifications of the removal requirement in this subsection, which shall be made available to the Commissioner upon request.
2. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the expulsion of a general education student.
(c) Each district board of education shall immediately remove students with disabilities for offenses involving firearms in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:14 and applicable Federal regulations incorporated therein.
(d) The principal or his or her designee shall:
1. Remove a student as set forth in (a) through (c) above;
2. Isolate the student and place him or her under the supervision of school staff until the student's parent or a law enforcement official takes custody of the student;
3. Immediately report to the chief school administrator the removal of the student;
4. Notify the appropriate law enforcement agency of a possible violation of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice; and
5. Notify the student's parent of the following information:
ii. The law enforcement notification;
iii. The change of custody, if it occurs; and
iv. A general education student's due process rights, as set forth in N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.2 through 7.6, or the due process rights of a student with a disability, as set forth in N.J.A.C. 6A:14-2.7 and 2.8 and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.2 through 7.5.
(e) A student, other than a student with a disability, removed from the general education program pursuant to this section shall be placed in an alternative education program, according to the requirements of N.J.A.C. 6A:16-9.
1. If placement in an alternative education program is not available, the general education student shall be provided home or other out-of-school instruction, according to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-10, until placement is available.
(f) A student with a disability removed pursuant to (a) and (c) above shall receive a placement in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:14.
(g) A student removed pursuant to (b) above shall be entitled to a hearing before the district board of education in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.3 through 7.5.
(h) If it is found that the removed student did not commit the offenses in (a) and (c) above, the student shall be immediately returned to the program from which he or she was removed.
(i) The chief school administrator shall make the final determination on whether the general education student is prepared to return to the general education program, or will remain in an alternative education program, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-9, or receive home or other out-of-school instruction, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-10, based on the following criteria:
1. The nature and severity of the offense;
2. The district board of education's removal decision;
3. The results of relevant testing, assessment, or evaluation of the student; and
4. The recommendation of the principal or director of the alternative education program or home or other out-of-school instruction program in which the student has been placed.
(j) This section shall not apply to a firearm that is lawfully stored in a locked vehicle on school grounds, or when it is for activities approved and authorized by the district board of education, as long as the district board of education adopts appropriate safeguards to ensure student safety.
1. All students shall obtain written authorization from the chief school administrator to possess a firearm stored inside a locked vehicle on school grounds or used for participation in a school-sponsored function.
i. The chief school administrator shall not provide authorization to a student who has been convicted or adjudicated delinquent for possession of a firearm or for a crime involving the use of a firearm.
(k) Each chief school administrator biannually shall submit to the Commissioner a report on each incident under this section utilizing the Electronic Violence and Vandalism Reporting System, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.3(d)1.
(l) Each district board of education shall annually disseminate to all school staff, students, and parents the adopted policies and procedures for implementing this section.