The Sioux Falls School Board has expelled a student for one year after they brought a weapon to school. The decision comes just days after a school resource officer found a shotgun in the trunk of car at Washington High School. The 17 year old student said he forgot the gun in his car after going pheasant hunting on opening weekend.
The decision to expel the student was done during an executive session, but the minutes from that meeting were just recently made public. School officials can't say if the expulsion of the student, and the gun found at Washington are connected. School officials aren't identifying the student either but according to school board minutes the expelled student can't come back to school until November 19th, 2010, exactly one year after a 17 year old was found with a gun in the Washington High School parking lot.
"It is simply for the protection of the general public for the students of any school district and for the employees of the district," Sioux Falls School Board President Kent Alberty said.
Federal and state law requires any student found with a firearm on campus to be expelled from school for a year, and that's exactly what the Sioux Falls School Board did after a student was found with a gun.
"With federal law being what it is we really had no choice but to take the action that federal law mandates that we take," Alberty said.
Sioux Falls Police say the Washington student forgot the shotgun in his car after a hunting trip. Officers said the gun wasn't loaded and there was no ammunition in the car.
134 comments have been made about this case on the forums page at KELOLAND.com, mostly saying the student shouldn't face such a stiff penalty.
"The kid made a dumb mistake, it's what kids do. There was obviously no intent and no danger. Reprimand the kid and send him back to class. I'm sure he learned his lesson," a KELOLAND.com forums user identified as 'Brotsky' said.
But, school officials say they faced no other choice but to give out the stiff punishment.
"There was a gun found, it was on school property and the way that we were bound to act on that investigation was to expel the student per the federal and state law," Alberty said.
According to the meeting minutes it only took the school board four minutes to make the decision to expel the student.
State law says that a superintendent can shorten or lengthen the penalty, but there has been no decision from Superintendent Pam Homan about whether she will make a decision like that in this case.
Remember Zero Tolerance requires Zero Intelligent thought