KIDS BACK TO SCHOOL
School Expulsions For Guns Quietly Dropped
Rare procedure omits federal ban
New research has uncovered an "inventive" federal procedure used to
require local schools to adopt a national student-expulsion plan. Once
set, the enabling law was "omitted," leaving little trace of this
federal gun policy operating on the nation's local schools.
In President Clinton's highly publicized Educational Goals 2000, the
federal government banned itself from giving money to any school that
didn't expel students for having a gun at school (20 USC §
3351). Narrow exceptions were allowed for officials and authorized
use, and case-by-case review. Local school systems, to continue
receiving the funds they depend upon, had to provide assurance they
would expel students who possessed firearms.
This forced schools nationwide to quickly implement gun-possession
expulsion rules, nearly opposite of the gun-safety training atmosphere
that gun-rights advocates recommend. Until the 1960s, many schools had
firing ranges on campus, and guns could be brought to school for many
reasons, such as varsity competition, ROTC training, hunting on the
way home after class, and even show-and-tell.
Seven months later, with expulsion policies cobbled into place, the
law was quietly "omitted" from a general amendment of the Elementary
and Secondary Education Act of 1965, of which it was a part. That
removed the ban Congress had placed on its ability to spend.
In other words, government can again fund any school, maintaining the
influence that implies, even if the school has no expulsion
rules. Left in place though are the expulsion requirements schools
everywhere had already implemented. Detecting and deciphering this
omission in federal law was arguably the most challenging research for
the tenth anniversary edition of "Gun Laws of America," just released.
"Expulsion is an obviously inadequate response to a child who has a
gun at school with evil intent," says Alan Korwin, the book's
author. "That's why we have deadly serious laws against crime. On the
other hand, this approach to gun safety, and the blind fear this law
encouraged toward the wholesome American tradition of firearms
possession, may be irreparable. It's time to actively invest in
training and safety programs, instead of bans and ignorance, isn't
[Backgrounder: Bloomfield Press is the largest publisher and distributor of gun law books in the country, founded in 1988. Our website, gunlaws.com, features a free national directory to gun laws and relevant contacts in all states and federally, along with our unique line of related books and DVDs. "Gun Laws of America" for news media review is available on request, call 1-800-707-4020. The author is available for interview, call us to schedule. Call for cogent positions on gun issues, informed analysis on proposed laws, talk radio that lights up the switchboard, fact sheets and position papers. As we always say, "It doesn't make sense to own a gun and not know the rules."]
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[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Our friend, Alan Korwin has written to
us again, as you can see. I do not know if this means I will now get
a huge raft of ugly mail as I did from his screed on Peter Jennings
or not ... but I sincerely wish people would debate the _issues_
rather than pick on the messenger all the time. PAT]