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Options for students vary after weapons expulsion

There might be little indecisiveness when it comes to how students who bring weapons on to campus in the South Kitsap School District are handled.

But superintendent Dave LaRose said what happens with a youth after an expulsion can vary.

After an “emergency expulsion,” LaRose said the student first has a hearing. That is used to determine whether the student returns to school after a suspension.

He said much of that revolves around intent. For example, a student might unintentionally bring a weapon to school after a family camping trip. If that occurs, LaRose said the youth should immediately turn in the weapon to school officials.

But LaRose said he also has known students who brandish a weapon at school and then hand it over when they realize they are about to be turned in.

“It changes the tenor of the conversation,” he said. “It makes it a lot more serious.”

If a student is expelled, LaRose said SKSD officials try to assist them with continuing their education.

“That doesn’t mean every student who does this has that opportunity,” he said. “Sometimes that may include risk assessment and creative interventions.”

LaRose said district officials and possibly a probation officer and others then have to determine whether it would be risky to place an expelled student in an alternative school. SKSD has an online program as well.

Some students also have enrolled at private schools after being expelled from a public institution.

Because SKSD was closed for spring break, no data on how many students were expelled during the 2011-12 school year was available at press time.

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