Wednesday, October 21, 2009

D200 Parent Handbook: "weapon"

On Page 25 of the Parent Handbook for Woodstock District 200 schools is found its definition of "weapon." Parents should read this and discuss it among themselves and with their children who are students in District 200.

"A 'weapon' means possession, use, control, or transfer of: (1) any gun, rifle, shotgun, a weapon as defined by Section 921 of Title 18, United States Code, firearm as defined in Section 1.1 of the (Illinois) Firearm Owners Identification Act, or use of any weapon as defined in Section 24-1 in the (Illinois) Criminal Code; (2) any other object if used or attempted to be used to cause bodily harm, including but not limited to, knives, brass knuckles, billy clubs; or (3) 'look-alikes' of any weapon as defined above. Any item, such as a baseball bat, pipe, bottle, lock, stick, pencil, and pen is considered to be a weapon if used or attempted to be used to cause bodily harm..."

It would seem, from this definition of "weapon", that a pocket knife, in the pocket (or even in the backpack or locker) would not be deemed to be a weapon. Of course, this is a black-and-white view. However, be sure to read Section 921 (U.S. Code), Section 1.1 of the FOID Act and Section 24-1 of the Criminal Code, too.

Other than firearm, "any other object" seems to become a "weapon" only if it is "used or attempted to be used" to cause bodily harm.

However, don't count on my interpretation. If you have a question about what would happen to your child if he or she took a knife to school (ex., to cut a sandwich in half in the lunch room), contact the principal at your child's school and, if high school, the school resource officer.

Have a nice, polite, kind, gentle, inquiring conversation about this. Then follow it up with an e-mail to confirm your understanding of the conversation. Ask for a response in writing, if your understanding is not correctly stated.

And then print and save the e-mail(s).

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