Norwin School District creates first detailed weapons policy
Although Norwin always has prohibited guns, knives or other weapons from school buildings, until last week, there was no formal definition of what constitutes a weapon or what would happen if a student is caught with one.
Now there is.
The Norwin School Board unanimously approved the district’s first detailed weapons policy and the penalty for violations.
In addition to loaded or unloaded firearms — including BB, pellet and “look-alike” or replica guns — having a knife, brass knuckles, “nunchuck” sticks, mace or any type of explosive will get a student kicked out of school for at least a year, according to the new policy.
Also qualifying as weapons under the new policy are “any other tool, instrument or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily injury.”
“We periodically review all our policies and felt that there was a need to formalize how we deal with weapons on campus and at school-sponsored events and activities,” said Jonathan Szish, the district’s spokesman.
The new policy forbids students from having a weapon:
• In any Norwin building or on school grounds.
• On buses or private vehicles providing transportation to and from Norwin schools.
• At any school function, activity or event, regardless of whether it is held on Norwin school grounds.
• While a student is on the way to or from school.
District officials are required to notify police if a person violates the weapons policy. In addition, if a student who is serving a weapons-related suspension transfers into the district, Norwin can assign the student to alternative classes.
The weapons policy and a revised tobacco policy (see below) have been incorporated into an updated version of the district policy regulating public attendance at school events.
Additions to that policy include permission for people with physical disabilities to take service animals to school activities, as well as issuing a “Norwin Gold Card” that provides free admission to district residents who are 65 and older.
Tony LaRussa is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2360, or at [email protected].