Colorado School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Firearms and Other Weapons Violations

Discipline Compendium

Colorado School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Firearms and Other Weapons Violations

Category: Discipline Addressing Specific Code of Conduct Violations
Subcategory: Firearms and Other Weapons Violations
State: Colorado

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LAWS

18-12-105.5. Unlawfully carrying a weapon–unlawful possession of weapons–school, college, or university grounds.

(1) A person commits a class 6 felony if such person knowingly and unlawfully and without legal authority carries, brings, or has in such person's possession a deadly weapon as defined in section 18-1-901 (3)(e) in or on the real estate and all improvements erected thereon of any public or private elementary, middle, junior high, high, or vocational school or any public or private college, university, or seminary, except for the purpose of presenting an authorized public demonstration or exhibition pursuant to instruction in conjunction with an organized school or class, for the purpose of carrying out the necessary duties and functions of an employee of an educational institution that require the use of a deadly weapon, or for the purpose of participation in an authorized extracurricular activity or on an athletic team.

(3) It shall not be an offense under this section if:

(a) The weapon is unloaded and remains inside a motor vehicle while upon the real estate of any public or private college, university, or seminary; or

(b) The person is in that person's own dwelling or place of business or on property owned or under that person's control at the time of the act of carrying; or

(c) The person is in a private automobile or other private means of conveyance and is carrying a weapon for lawful protection of that person's or another's person or property while traveling; or

(d) The person, at the time of carrying a concealed weapon, held a valid written permit to carry a concealed weapon issued pursuant to section 18-12-105.1, as said section existed prior to its repeal; except that it shall be an offense under this section if the person was carrying a concealed handgun in violation of the provisions of section 18-12-214 (3); or

(d.5) The weapon involved was a handgun and the person held a valid permit to carry a concealed handgun or a temporary emergency permit issued pursuant to part 2 of this article; except that it shall be an offense under this section if the person was carrying a concealed handgun in violation of the provisions of section 18-12-214 (3); or

(e) The person is a school resource officer, as defined in section 22-32-109.1 (1)(g.5), C.R.S., or a peace officer, as described in section 16-2.5-101, C.R.S., when carrying a weapon in conformance with the policy of the employing agency as provided in section 16-2.5-101 (2), C.R.S.; or

(f) and (g)(Deleted by amendment, L. 2003, p. 1626, § 51, effective August 6, 2003.)

(h) The person has possession of the weapon for use in an educational program approved by a school which program includes, but shall not be limited to, any course designed for the repair or maintenance of weapons.

22-12-104. Liability.

(1) An educational entity and its employees are immune from suit for taking an action regarding the supervision, grading, suspension, expulsion, or discipline of a student while the student is on the property of the educational entity or under the supervision of the educational entity or its employees; except that immunity shall not apply if the action is committed willfully and wantonly and violates a statute, rule, or regulation or a clearly articulated policy of the educational entity. The burden of proving the violation shall rest with the plaintiff and must be established by clear and convincing evidence to the court as part of a summary proceeding. If at the summary proceeding the court finds a violation exists, the educational entity and its employee may raise immunity at trial under the provisions of this article and the "Colorado Governmental Immunity Act", article 10 of title 24, C.R.S.

(2) An educational entity and its employees are immune from suit for making a report consistent with federal law to the appropriate law enforcement authorities or officials of an educational entity if the individual making the report has reasonable grounds to suspect that a student is:

(a) Under the influence of alcoholic beverages or of a controlled substance not lawfully prescribed to the student;

(b) In possession of a firearm or alcoholic beverages or of a controlled substance not lawfully prescribed to the student;

(c) Involved in the illegal solicitation, sale, or distribution of firearms or alcoholic beverages or of a controlled substance.

(3) A person claiming to have suffered an injury by an educational entity or an employee, whether or not by a violation of a statute, rule, or regulation or a clearly articulated policy of the educational entity, shall file a written notice as provided in section 24-10-109, C.R.S., within one hundred eighty days after the date of discovery of the injury, regardless of whether the person then knew all of the elements of a claim or of a cause of action for the injury. Compliance with the provisions of this subsection (3) shall be a jurisdictional prerequisite to any action brought under the provisions of this article, and failure of compliance shall forever bar any such action.

22-32-109.1. Board of education–specific powers and duties–safe school plan–conduct and discipline code–safe school reporting requirements–school response framework–school resource officers–definitions.

(1) Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(c) "Dangerous weapon" has the same meaning as set forth in section 22-33-102 (4).

(2) Safe school plan. [...] The plan, at a minimum, shall include the following:

(a) Conduct and discipline code.

(I) A concisely written conduct and discipline code that must be enforced uniformly, fairly, and consistently for all students. Copies of the code shall be provided to each student upon enrollment at the elementary, middle, and high school levels and must be posted or kept on file at each public school in the school district. The school district shall take reasonable measures to ensure that each student of each public school in the school district is familiar with the code. The code must include, but need not be limited to:

(G) Written prohibition, consistent with section 22-33-106, of students from bringing or possessing dangerous weapons, drugs, or other controlled substances on school grounds, in a school vehicle, or at a school activity or sanctioned event and from using drugs or other controlled substances on school grounds, in a school vehicle, or at a school activity or sanctioned event;

(b) Safe school reporting requirements. A policy whereby the principal of each public school in a school district is required to submit annually, in a manner and by a date specified by rule of the state board, a written report to the board of education of the school district concerning the learning environment in the school during that school year. The board of education of the school district shall annually compile the reports from every school in the district and submit the compiled report to the department of education in a format specified by rule of the state board. The compiled report must be easily accessible by the general public through a link on the department of education's web site homepage. The report must include, but need not be limited to, the following specific information for the preceding school year:

(IV) The number of conduct and discipline code violations. Each violation must be reported only in the most serious category that is applicable to that violation, including but not limited to specific information identifying the number of, and the action taken with respect to, each of the following types of violations:

(A) Possessing a dangerous weapon on school grounds, in a school vehicle, or at a school activity or sanctioned event without the authorization of the school or the school district.

22-33-102. Definitions.

As used in this article 33, unless the context otherwise requires:

(4) "Dangerous weapon" means:

(a) A firearm, as defined in section 18-1-901 (3)(h), C.R.S.;

(b) Any pellet gun, BB gun, or other device, whether operational or not, designed to propel projectiles by spring action or compressed air;

(c) A fixed-blade knife with a blade that exceeds three inches in length;

(d) A spring-loaded knife or a pocket knife with a blade exceeding three and one-half inches in length; or

(e) Any object, device, instrument, material, or substance, whether animate or inanimate, that is used or intended to be used to inflict death or serious bodily injury.

22-33-106. Grounds for suspension, expulsion, and denial of admission.

(1) The following may be grounds for suspension or expulsion of a child from a public school during a school year:

(a) Continued willful disobedience or open and persistent defiance of proper authority;

(b) Willful destruction or defacing of school property;

(c) Behavior on or off school property that is detrimental to the welfare or safety of other pupils or of school personnel, including behavior that creates a threat of physical harm to the child or to other children; except that, if the child who creates the threat is a child with a disability pursuant to section 22-20-103 (5), the child may not be expelled if the actions creating the threat are a manifestation of the child's disability. However, the child shall be removed from the classroom to an appropriate alternative setting within the district in which the child is enrolled for a length of time that is consistent with federal law, during which time the school in which the student is enrolled shall give priority to and arrange within ten days for a reexamination of the child's individualized education program to amend his or her program as necessary to ensure that the needs of the child are addressed in a more appropriate manner or setting that is less disruptive to other students and is in accordance with the provisions of article 20 of this title. Nothing in this paragraph (c) shall be construed to limit a school district's authority to suspend a child with a disability for a length of time that is consistent with federal law.

(c.5)(I) Declaration as a habitually disruptive student.

(II) For purposes of this paragraph (c.5), "habitually disruptive student" means a child who has caused a material and substantial disruption on school grounds, in a school vehicle, or at a school activity or sanctioned event three or more times during the course of a school year. Any student who is enrolled in a public school may be subject to being declared a habitually disruptive student.

(III) The student and the parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian shall have been notified in writing of each disruption counted toward declaring the student as habitually disruptive pursuant to this paragraph (c.5), and the student and parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian shall have been notified in writing and by telephone or other means at the home or the place of employment of the parent or legal guardian of the definition of "habitually disruptive student".

(IV)(Deleted by amendment, L. 2000, p. 1971, § 12, effective June 2, 2000.)

(d) Committing one of the following offenses on school grounds, in a school vehicle, or at a school activity or sanctioned event:

(I) Possession of a dangerous weapon without the authorization of the school or the school district;

(II) The use, possession, or sale of a drug or controlled substance as defined in section 18-18-102 (5), C.R.S.; or

(III) The commission of an act that, if committed by an adult, would be robbery pursuant to part 3 of article 4 of title 18, C.R.S., or assault pursuant to part 2 of article 3 of title 18, C.R.S., other than the commission of an act that would be third degree assault under section 18-3-204, C.R.S., if committed by an adult.

(e) Repeated interference with a school's ability to provide educational opportunities to other students.

(f) Carrying, using, actively displaying, or threatening with the use of a firearm facsimile that could reasonably be mistaken for an actual firearm in a school building or in or on school property. Each school district shall develop a policy that shall authorize a student to carry, bring, use, or possess a firearm facsimile on school property for either a school-related or a nonschool-related activity. Such policy shall also consider student violations under this section on a case-by-case basis using the individual facts and circumstances to determine whether suspension, expulsion, or any other disciplinary action, if any, is necessary.

(g) Pursuant to section 22-12-105 (3), making a false accusation of criminal activity against an employee of an educational entity to law enforcement authorities or school district officials or personnel.

(1.2) Each school district is encouraged to consider each of the following factors before suspending or expelling a student pursuant to a provision of subsection (1) of this section:

(a) The age of the student;

(b) The disciplinary history of the student;

(c) Whether the student has a disability;

(d) The seriousness of the violation committed by the student;

(e) Whether the violation committed by the student threatened the safety of any student or staff member; and

(f) Whether a lesser intervention would properly address the violation committed by the student.

(1.5) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in accordance with the provisions of 20 U.S.C. sec. 7961, a student who is determined to have brought a firearm to a school, or to have possessed a firearm at a school, shall be expelled for a period of not less than one year; except that the superintendent of the student's school district may modify this requirement for a student on a case-by-case basis if such modification is in writing.

(2) Subject to the district's responsibilities under article 20 of this title, the following may be grounds for expulsion from or denial of admission to a public school, or diversion to an appropriate alternate program:

(a) Physical or mental disability such that the child cannot reasonably benefit from the programs available;

(b) Physical or mental disability or disease causing the attendance of the child suffering therefrom to be inimical to the welfare of other pupils.

(3) The following may constitute additional grounds for denial of admission to a public school:

(a) Graduation from the twelfth grade of any school or receipt of any document evidencing completion of the equivalent of a secondary curriculum;

(b) Failure to meet the requirements of age, by a child who has reached the age of six at a time after the beginning of the school year, as fixed by the board of education of the district in which the child applies for enrollment, as provided in section 22-1-115;

(c) Having been expelled from any school district during the preceding twelve months;

(d) Not being a resident of the district, unless otherwise entitled to attend under the provisions of article 23, 32, or 36 of this title;

(e) Failure to comply with the provisions of part 9 of article 4 of title 25, C.R.S. Any suspension, expulsion, or denial of admission for such failure to comply shall not be recorded as a disciplinary action but may be recorded with the student's immunization record with an appropriate explanation.

(f) Behavior in another school district during the preceding twelve months that is detrimental to the welfare or safety of other pupils or of school personnel.

(4)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (4), a school district shall prohibit any student who is expelled from a public school of the school district pursuant to paragraph (c) or (d) of subsection (1) of this section or pursuant to subsection (1.5) of this section from enrolling or reenrolling in the same school in which the victim of the offense or member of a victim's immediate family is enrolled or employed. If the school district has no actual knowledge of the name of the victim of the offense for which the student was expelled, the provisions of this subsection (4) shall be implemented only upon request of the victim or a member of the victim's immediate family.

(b) In any school district that has only one school in which the expelled student can enroll, the school district shall either:

(I) Prohibit the student expelled from the school district pursuant to paragraph (c) or (d) of subsection (1) of this section or pursuant to subsection (1.5) of this section from enrolling or reenrolling in the same school in which the victim of the offense or member of a victim's immediate family is enrolled or employed; or

(II) Design a schedule for the expelled student that, to the extent possible, avoids contact between the expelled student and the victim or a member of the victim's immediate family.

(c) The provisions of this subsection (4) shall not apply to an offense that constitutes a crime against property.

(d) The provisions of this subsection (4) shall apply only if the expelled student is convicted, is adjudicated a juvenile delinquent, receives a deferred judgment, or is placed in a diversion program as a result of committing the offense for which the student was expelled. Prior to implementation of the provisions of this subsection (4), the school district shall contact the appropriate court to determine whether the provisions of this subsection (4) apply to an expelled student. The school district shall be authorized by the provisions of section 19-1-303 (1)(b), C.R.S., to obtain such information.

(e)(I) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any county or district court shall have original concurrent jurisdiction to issue a temporary or permanent civil restraining order that enjoins the expelled student from enrolling or reenrolling in the same school in which the victim of the offense or member of a victim's immediate family is enrolled or employed.

(II) A motion for a temporary civil restraining order pursuant to this paragraph (e) shall be set for hearing, which hearing shall be ex parte, at the earliest possible time and shall take precedence over all matters except those matters of the same character that have been on the court docket for a longer period of time. The court shall hear all such motions as expeditiously as possible.

22-33-106.1. Suspension–expulsion–preschool through second grade–definitions.

(1) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) "Charter school" means a charter school that is authorized by a school district board of education pursuant to part 1 of article 30.5 of this title 22 or an institute charter school that is authorized by the state charter school institute pursuant to part 5 of article 30.5 of this title 22.

(b) "Enrolling entity" means:

(I) A community-based preschool program that includes students who are funded through the "Colorado Preschool Program Act", article 28 of this title 22, or students who are funded with state or federal money to educate children with disabilities;

(II) A school district; or

(III) A charter school.

(2) Notwithstanding any provision of this article 33 to the contrary, an enrolling entity may impose an out-of-school suspension or expel a student enrolled in preschool, kindergarten, first grade, or second grade only if:

(a) The enrolling entity determines that the student has engaged in conduct on school grounds, in a school vehicle, or at a school activity or sanctioned event that:

(I) Involves the possession of a dangerous weapon without the authorization of the public school or enrolling entity, if different;

(II) Involves the use, possession, or sale of a drug or controlled substance, as defined in section 18-18-102 (5); or

(III) Endangers the health or safety of others;

(b) The enrolling entity determines that failure to remove the student from the school building would create a safety threat that cannot otherwise be addressed; and

(c) The enrolling entity, on a case-by-case basis, considers each of the factors set forth in section 22-33-106 (1.2) before suspending or expelling the student. The enrolling entity shall document any alternative behavioral and disciplinary interventions that it employs before suspending or expelling the student.

(3) If an enrolling entity imposes an out-of-school suspension on a student who meets the criteria specified in subsection (2) of this section, the out-of-school suspension shall not exceed three school days unless the executive officer or chief administrative officer of the enrolling entity, or designee of either, determines that a longer period of suspension is necessary to resolve the safety threat or recommends that the student be expelled in accordance with section 22-33-105 (2)(c).

(4) This section does not prevent an enrolling entity from excluding, removing, or disenrolling a student for reasons unrelated to student discipline.

(5) For purposes of this section, if an enrolling entity requests that a parent remove a child for disciplinary reasons from the school grounds for any length of time during a school day, the request constitutes a suspension and is subject to the requirements of this section.

(6) The state board shall annually review the data concerning the number of students who are suspended or expelled pursuant to this section and, if available, the reasons for the suspensions and expulsions.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

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