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School District Upholds Guns Suspension

   |  Posted Sep 15th, 2006 @ 10:10am


Randall Jeppeson and Marc Giauque reporting

School districs around Utah say even with threats of year-long suspension, they're still seeing a lot of students bringing potential weapons to school.

Many parents saying suspending a young child for an entire school year because they brought a toy gun to school is too much. But Larry Urry with the Jordan school district says it's state law, and every parent signs a paper each year, "They're always given out every year to every student."

School districts around the Wasatch Front say students bring prohibited weapons - real or fake - a lot. The Nebo District saw 26 incidents last year, 83 in Granite, and 122 times in the Ogden school district. Not all were suspended, but district officials say parents need to talk to their kids about what they're taking to school.

His parents call it overkill, but the school district is standing behind its decision to suspend a boy who brought a toy gun on a school bus.

The gun was a clear air-soft gun. Asher Hartt says he had it in his back-pack, so he could take it home from his grandparent's house. When someone else saw it, word got to the bus driver it was a real gun.

"I think that was the very, very poor decision," says Asher.

The incident led to a 180 day suspension for Ahser, a punishment his father Rahfer thinks is too much.

"This can be detrimental to the life of a child, says Rahfer. "He's currently in sixth grade, the social development that he needs to move on to junior high are imperitive for a child."

But the district says its hands are tied by federal and state law. It says one concern is toy guns can lead to tragic mistakes, by police or others who may think the gun is real.

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