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

Discipline Compendium

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

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

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LAWS

166.370. Possession of firearm or dangerous weapon in public building or court facility; exceptions; discharging firearm at school.

(1) Any person who intentionally possesses a loaded or unloaded firearm or any other instrument used as a dangerous weapon, while in or on a public building, shall upon conviction be guilty of a Class C felony.

(2)(a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, a person who intentionally possesses:

(A) A firearm in a court facility is guilty, upon conviction, of a Class C felony. A person who intentionally possesses a firearm in a court facility shall surrender the firearm to a law enforcement officer.

(B) A weapon, other than a firearm, in a court facility may be required to surrender the weapon to a law enforcement officer or to immediately remove it from the court facility. A person who fails to comply with this subparagraph is guilty, upon conviction, of a Class C felony.

(C) A firearm in a local court facility is guilty, upon conviction, of a Class C felony if, prior to the offense, the presiding judge of the local court facility entered an order prohibiting firearms in the area in which the court conducts business and during the hours in which the court operates.

(b) The presiding judge of a judicial district or a municipal court may enter an order permitting the possession of specified weapons in a court facility.

(c) Within a shared court facility, the presiding judge of a municipal court or justice of the peace district may not enter an order concerning the possession of weapons in the court facility that is in conflict with an order entered by the presiding judge of the circuit court.

(3) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to:

(a) A police officer or reserve officer, as those terms are defined in ORS 181A.355.

(b) A parole and probation officer, as defined in ORS 181A.355, while the parole and probation officer is acting within the scope of employment.

(c) A federal officer, as defined in ORS 133.005, or a certified reserve officer or corrections officer, as those terms are defined in ORS 181A.355, while the federal officer, certified reserve officer or corrections officer is acting within the scope of employment.

(d) A person summoned by an officer described in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of this subsection to assist in making an arrest or preserving the peace, while the summoned person is engaged in assisting the officer.

(e) An honorably retired law enforcement officer.

(f) An active or reserve member of the military forces of this state or the United States, when engaged in the performance of duty.

(g) A person who is licensed under ORS 166.291 and 166.292 to carry a concealed handgun.

(h) A person who is authorized by the officer or agency that controls the public building to possess a firearm or dangerous weapon in that public building.

(i) An employee of the United States Department of Agriculture, acting within the scope of employment, who possesses a firearm in the course of the lawful taking of wildlife.

(j) Possession of a firearm on school property if the firearm:

(A) Is possessed by a person who is not otherwise prohibited from possessing the firearm; and

(B) Is unloaded and locked in a motor vehicle.

(4)(a) The exceptions listed in subsection (3)(d) to (j) of this section constitute affirmative defenses to a charge of violating subsection (1) of this section.

(b) A person may not use the affirmative defense described in subsection (3)(e) of this section if the person has been convicted of an offense that would make the person ineligible to obtain a concealed handgun license under ORS 166.291 and 166.292.

(5)(a) Any person who knowingly, or with reckless disregard for the safety of another, discharges or attempts to discharge a firearm at a place that the person knows is a school shall upon conviction be guilty of a Class C felony.

(b) Paragraph (a) of this subsection does not apply to the discharge of a firearm:

(A) As part of a program approved by a school in the school by an individual who is participating in the program;

(B) By a law enforcement officer acting in the officer's official capacity; or

(C) By an employee of the United States Department of Agriculture, acting within the scope of employment, in the course of the lawful taking of wildlife.

(6) Any weapon carried in violation of this section is subject to the forfeiture provisions of ORS 166.279.

(7) Notwithstanding the fact that a person's conduct in a single criminal episode constitutes a violation of both subsections (1) and (5) of this section, the district attorney may charge the person with only one of the offenses.

(8) As used in this section, "dangerous weapon" means a dangerous weapon as that term is defined in ORS 161.015.

339.250. Duty of student to comply with rules; policies on discipline, suspension, expulsion, threats of violence or harm, firearms and physical force; student handbook or code of conduct; enforcement of policies.

(1) Public school students shall comply with rules for the government of such schools, pursue the prescribed course of study, use the prescribed textbooks and submit to the teachers' authority.

(2) Each district school board shall adopt written policies for the discipline, suspension or expulsion of any refractory student. The policies:

(a) May allow discipline, suspension or expulsion for conduct that includes, but is not limited to:

(A) Willful disobedience;

(B) Open defiance of the authority of a school employee;

(C) Possession or distribution of tobacco, alcohol, drugs or other controlled substances;

(D) Use or display of profane or obscene language;

(E) Willful damage or injury to school property;

(F) Use of threats, intimidation, harassment or coercion against a student or a school employee;

(G) Assault of a school employee or another student; or

(H) Intentional attempts, by word or conduct, to place a school employee or another student in fear of imminent serious physical injury.

(b) Must require consideration of the age of a student and the past pattern of behavior of a student prior to imposing the suspension or expulsion of a student.

(c) Must limit the use of expulsion to the following circumstances:

(A) For conduct that poses a threat to the health or safety of students or school employees;

(B) When other strategies to change student conduct have been ineffective, except that expulsion may not be used to address truancy; or

(C) When the expulsion is required by law.

(d) In addition to any limitations imposed by paragraph (c) of this subsection, for a student who is in fifth grade or lower, must limit the use of out-of-school suspension or of expulsion to the following circumstances:

(A) For nonaccidental conduct causing serious physical harm to a student or school employee;

(B) When a school administrator determines, based upon the administrator's observation or upon a report from a school employee, that the student's conduct poses a direct threat to the health or safety of students or school employees; or

(C) When the suspension or expulsion is required by law.

(e) When an out-of-school suspension is imposed as provided under paragraph (d) of this subsection, must require the school district to take steps to prevent the recurrence of the behavior that led to the out-of-school suspension and return the student to a classroom setting so that the disruption of the student's academic instruction is minimized.

(f) Must be limited so that:

(A) The duration of an expulsion may not be more than one calendar year.

(B) The duration of a suspension may not be more than 10 school days.

(g) Notwithstanding ORS 336.010, may require a student to attend school during nonschool hours as an alternative to suspension if the total number of hours does not exceed the equivalent of 10 school days.

(3) Pursuant to the policies adopted as provided by subsection (2) of this section, each school district shall develop a student handbook, code of conduct or other document that:

(a) Defines and helps create a learning environment that students respect;

(b) Defines acceptable norms of behavior for students and the types of behavior that are subject to discipline;

(c) Establishes procedures to address behavior or circumstances that pose a threat to the safety of students or employees of the school;

(d) Establishes a system of consequences that are designed to correct student misconduct and promote behavior within acceptable norms; and

(e) Makes the system of consequences known to the school community through the dissemination of information to students, parents, legal guardians and school district employees.

(4) Each district school board shall adopt written policies on managing students who threaten violence or harm in public schools. The policies adopted by a district school board under this section shall include all of the following:

(a) Staff reporting methods.

(b) Provisions that allow an administrator to consider and implement any of the following options:

(A) Immediately removing from the classroom setting any student who has threatened to injure another person or to severely damage school property.

(B) Placing the student in a setting where the behavior will receive immediate attention, including, but not limited to, the office of the school principal, vice principal, assistant principal, counselor or a school psychologist licensed by the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission or the office of any licensed mental health professional.

(C) Requiring that a school obtain an evaluation of a student by a licensed mental health professional before allowing the student to return to the classroom setting. A student who is removed from the classroom setting for an evaluation may not be removed for more than 10 school days unless the administrator is able to show good cause that an evaluation could not be completed in that time period. The policy must describe the circumstances under which the district school board may enter into contracts with licensed mental health professionals to perform any evaluations required under this subparagraph.

(c) The requirement that an administrator provide to the parent or legal guardian of the student notification that describes the student's behavior and the school's response.

(d) A provision for the allocation of any funds necessary for the school district to implement the policies described in this subsection.

(5) In establishing and enforcing discipline, suspension and expulsion policies, a district school board shall ensure that the policy is designed to:

(a) Protect students and school employees from harm;

(b) Provide opportunities for students to learn from their mistakes;

(c) Foster positive learning communities;

(d) Keep students in school and attending class;

(e) Impose disciplinary sanctions without bias against students from a protected class, as defined in ORS 339.351;

(f) Implement a graduated set of age-appropriate responses to misconduct that are fair, nondiscriminatory and proportionate in relation to each student's individual conduct;

(g) Employ a range of strategies for prevention, intervention and discipline that take into account a student's developmental capacities and that are proportionate to the degree and severity of the student's misbehavior;

(h) Propose, prior to a student's expulsion or leaving school, alternative programs of instruction or instruction combined with counseling for the student that are appropriate and accessible to the student in the following circumstances:

(A) Following a second or subsequent occurrence within any three-year period of a severe disciplinary problem with the student; or

(B) When a parent or legal guardian applies for the student's exemption from compulsory attendance on a semiannual basis as provided in ORS 339.030 (2);

(i) To the extent practicable, use approaches that are shown through research to be effective in reducing student misbehavior and promoting safe and productive social behavior; and

(j) Ensure that school conduct and discipline codes comply with all state and federal laws concerning the education of students with disabilities.

(6) Except for policies adopted under subsection (7) of this section, any policies adopted under this section must provide for the dissemination of information about alternative programs of instruction or instruction combined with counseling, as described in subsection (5)(h) of this section, in writing to the student and the parent, legal guardian or person in parental relationship with the student at least once every six months, unless the information has changed because of the availability of new programs.

(7) Each district school board shall adopt a written policy involving firearms, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921. The policy shall:

(a) Require expulsion from school for a period of not less than one year of any student who is determined to have:

(A) Brought a firearm to a school, to school property under the jurisdiction of the school district or to an activity under the jurisdiction of the school district;

(B) Possessed, concealed or used a firearm in a school, on school property under the jurisdiction of the school district or at an activity under the jurisdiction of the school district; or

(C) Brought to or possessed, concealed or used a firearm at an interscholastic activity administered by a voluntary organization.

(b) Allow exceptions:

(A) For courses, programs and activities approved by the school district that are conducted on school property, including, but not limited to, hunter safety courses, Reserve Officer Training Corps programs, firearm-related sports or firearm-related vocational courses; and

(B) Identified by and adopted by the State Board of Education by rule.

(c) Allow a superintendent of a school district to:

(A) Modify the expulsion requirement for a student on a case-by-case basis.

(B) Propose alternative programs of instruction or instruction combined with counseling for a student that are appropriate and accessible to the student. If alternative programs are appropriate for a student, the superintendent shall ensure that information about programs of instruction or instruction combined with counseling is provided in writing to the student and the parent, legal guardian or person in parental relationship with the student at least once every six months, or at any time the information changes because of the availability of new programs.

(d) Require a referral to the appropriate law enforcement agency of any student who is expelled under this subsection.

(e) Require an annual reporting to the Department of Education of the name of each school that had an expulsion under this subsection and the number of students expelled from each school.

(8) Each district school board shall adopt and disseminate written policies for the use of physical force upon a student. The policies must allow an individual who is a teacher, administrator, school employee or school volunteer to use reasonable physical force upon a student when and to the extent the application of force is consistent with ORS 339.285 to 339.303.

(9)(a) The authority to discipline a student does not authorize the infliction of corporal punishment. Every resolution, bylaw, rule, ordinance or other act of a district school board, a public charter school or the Department of Education that permits or authorizes the infliction of corporal punishment upon a student is void and unenforceable.

(b) As used in this subsection:

(A) “Corporal punishment” means the willful infliction of, or willfully causing the infliction of, physical pain on a student.

(B) “Corporal punishment” does not include:

(i) The use of physical force authorized by ORS 161.205 for the reasons specified therein; or

(ii) Physical pain or discomfort resulting from or caused by participation in athletic competition or other such recreational activity, voluntarily engaged in by a student.

(10) For purposes of this section, calculations of the number of school days that a student is removed from a classroom setting shall be as follows:

(a) As a half day if the student is out of school for half, or less than half, of the scheduled school day; and

(b) As a full day if the student is out of school for more than half of the scheduled school day.

339.315. Report required if person has unlawful firearm or destructive device; immunity; law enforcement investigation required.

(1)(a) Any employee of a public school district, an education service district or a private school who has reasonable cause to believe that a person, while in a school, is or within the previous 120 days has been in possession of a firearm or destructive device in violation of ORS 166.250, 166.370 or 166.382 shall report the person's conduct immediately to a school administrator, school director, the administrator's or director's designee or law enforcement agency within the county. A school administrator, school director or the administrator's or director's designee, who has reasonable cause to believe that the person, while in a school, is or within the previous 120 days has been in possession of a firearm or destructive device in violation of ORS 166.250, 166.370 or 166.382, shall promptly report the person's conduct to a law enforcement agency within the county. If the school administrator, school director or employee has reasonable cause to believe that a person has been in possession of a firearm or destructive device as described in this paragraph more than 120 days previously, the school administrator, school director or employee may report the person's conduct to a law enforcement agency within the county.

(b) Anyone participating in the making of a report under paragraph (a) of this subsection who has reasonable grounds for making the report is immune from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed with respect to the making or content of the report. Any participant has the same immunity with respect to participating in any judicial proceeding resulting from the report.

(c) Except as required by ORS 135.805 to 135.873 and 419C.270 (5) or (6), the identity of a person participating in good faith in the making of a report under paragraph (a) of this subsection who has reasonable grounds for making the report is confidential and may not be disclosed by law enforcement agencies, the district attorney or any public or private school administrator, school director or employee.

(2) When a law enforcement agency receives a report under subsection (1) of this section, the law enforcement agency shall promptly conduct an investigation to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the person, while in a school, did possess a firearm or destructive device in violation of ORS 166.250, 166.370 or 166.382.

(3) As used in this section, "school" means:

(a) A public or private institution of learning providing instruction at levels kindergarten through grade 12, or their equivalents, or any part thereof;

(b) The grounds adjacent to the institution; and

(c) Any site or premises that at the time is being used exclusively for a student program or activity that is sponsored or sanctioned by the institution, a public school district, an education service district or a voluntary organization and that is posted as such.

(4) For purposes of subsection (3)(c) of this section, a site or premises is posted as such when the sponsoring or sanctioning entity has posted a notice identifying the sponsoring or sanctioning entity and stating, in substance, that the program or activity is a school function and that the possession of firearms or dangerous weapons in or on the site or premises is prohibited under ORS 166.370.

REGULATIONS

581-015-2425. Removal to an interim alternative educational setting by school district.

(1) Definitions:

(a) "Drug" means illegal drug or controlled substance but does not include a substance that is legally possessed or used under the supervision of a licensed health-care professional or otherwise legally possessed. It does not include alcohol or tobacco.

(b) "Drug violation" means the use, possession, sale or solicitation of drugs at school or a school function.

(c) "Serious bodily injury" means bodily injury, which involves substantial risk of death; extreme physical pain; protracted and obvious disfigurement; or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ or mental faculty.

(d) "Weapon" means a weapon, device, instrument, material or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of causing death or serious bodily injury, except that it does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than 2 1/2 inches in length.

(e) "Weapon violation" means carrying a weapon to school or to a school function or acquiring a weapon at school.

(2) School districts may remove a child with disabilities from their current educational placement to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting for the same amount of time that a child without a disability would be subject to discipline, but for not more than 45 school days in a school year without regard to whether the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the child's disability for:

(a) A drug or weapon violation as defined in subsection (1); or

(b) If the child has inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the Department or a school district.

(3) A removal for a drug or weapon violation, or for inflicting serious bodily injury, is considered a change in placement.

(4) School personnel may consider any unique circumstances on a case-by-case basis when determining whether to order a removal under subsection (2) for a child with a disability who violates a code of conduct.

(5) For removals described in subsection (2) of this rule, school districts must:

(a) On the date on which the decision is made to remove the student under subsection (2), notify the parents of that decision and provide the parents with notice of procedural safeguards under OAR 581-015-2315;

(b) Provide the services to the student in an interim alternative educational setting, determined by the IEP team, in accordance with OAR 581-015-2435;

(c) Within 10 school days of any decision to remove a child under subsection (2), determine whether the child's behavior is a manifestation of the child's disability in accordance with OAR 581-015-2420; and

(d) Provide, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment, and behavior intervention services and modifications that are designed to address the behavior violation so that it does not recur.

(6) Placement pending due process hearing. If a parent requests a due process hearing because of a disagreement with the manifestation determination, removal to the interim alternative educational setting, or any decision about placement related to a disciplinary removal under section (2) of this rule, the child remains in the interim alternative educational setting pending the decision of the administrative law judge under OAR 581-015-2445, or until the end of the removal under section (2), whichever occurs first, unless the parent and school district agree otherwise.

581-021-0055. Standards of conduct.

(1) Students shall comply with the written rules of the school district board, pursue the prescribed course of study, submit to the lawful authority of teachers and school officials, and conduct themselves in an orderly fashion.

(2) Students shall be liable to discipline, suspension, or expulsion for misconduct, including but not limited to:

(a) Theft;

(b) Disruption of the school;

(c) Damage or destruction of school property;

(d) Damage or destruction of private property on school premises or during a school activity;

(e) Assault or threats of harm;

(f) Unauthorized use of weapons or dangerous instruments;

(g) Unlawful use of drugs, narcotics, or alcoholic beverages;

(h) Persistent failure to comply with rules of the lawful directions of teachers or school officials.

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