School board alters its weapon policy

The South Whidbey School District board approved without discussion a modification in the district’s zero-tolerance policy in regard to dangerous weapons on campus.

At its meeting Wednesday night in Langley, the board reworded the policy to permit the superintendent to review and modify the automatic one-year expulsion from school when a gun is brought to campus.

The policy was also changed to require school officials to notify the parents or guardians of students involved in weapons incidents at the same time law enforcement officers are called.

District Superintendent Fred McCarthy had sought the new wording to bring the district policy more in line with the intent of the state mandate.

The proposed changes were prompted by an Oct. 15 incident at South Whidbey High School in Langley in which two students were expelled for a year after a shotgun and shells were discovered in the pickup truck of the older student while it was parked on campus.

Further investigation by school officials determined that there were “special circumstances” in the case of the younger student, and he was allowed back in school after a suspension of 45 days.

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