The North Carolina General Assembly has enacted several laws designed to address and curtail violence in schools. As you would expect, these laws are directed at all schools, regardless of grade level. We are not experiencing unusual problems with violence on school grounds, but need to be certain that all of our students and parents are aware of the laws and punishments which may result.
The following paragraphs summarize pertinent laws and have been established as Buncombe County Schools and Estes Elementary School policy.
Group III offenses:
#10: Possession on educational property of, whether openly or concealed, any BB gun, air rifle, air pistol, bowie knife, dirk, dagger, slingshot, leaded cane, switchblade knife, blackjack, metallic knuckles, razor and razor blades, sharp-pointed instrument; will result in misdemeanor charges being filed with the Sheriff's Office and appropriate school discipline.
Group V offenses:
It is a Class I felony for any person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any gun, rifle, pistol or other firearm or any explosive on educational property. It is also a Class I felony for any person to cause, encourage or aid a minor (less than 18 years old) to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, these firearms or any explosive on educational property.
#8: When a principal has a reasonable belief that an act has occurred on school property involving assault resulting in serious personal injury, sexual assault, sexual offense, rape, kidnapping, indecent liberties with a minor, assault involving the use of a weapon, possession of a firearm in violation of the law, or possession of a controlled substance in violation of the law, the principal must immediately report the act to the appropriate local law enforcement agency. Appropriate school punishment will also apply.
FIGHTING is considered assault under the laws and will be reported to the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office for investigation. Appropriate school discipline will also apply.
NOTE: Educational property includes any public or private school building or bus, public or private school campus, grounds, recreational area, athletic field, or property owned, used or operated by any Board of Education or school.
Estes has a Safe School Policy as part of our School Improvement Plan that includes strategies to insure a safe environment.