Two Virginia Beach boys have received long-term suspensions (lasting until June) for “possession, handling and use of a firearm” while waiting for the school bus. The boys were target shooting with an airsoft gun and plastic pellets. This incident happened on private property 70 yards away from the bus stop. The boys say that they did not fire the guns at anyone and did not take the guns to the bus stop, on the bus, or to school.
A mom passing by saw the boys target shooting and called 911. In the tape the caller said that she believed the gun to be a toy, yet found it uncomfortable and wanted a police officer to check into it. Clearly, this is not the school’s jurisdiction, and it is not clear how or why they got involved.1
However, if you are a teacher and caught with 20 bags of heroin in your pocket while serving on jury duty, your employer has no right to fire you because there is no evidence that this conduct “affects his performance as a teacher” a judge ruled.2
If you’re a student near the school and found to have a large amount of cash and 81 bags of heroin in your backpack, there is no indication that the school will get involved at all. This student is being charged with possession and the intent to distribute, but nothing about an expulsion or suspension is mentioned here.3
These cases are absurd in a number of ways. As far as the airsoft gun goes, the kids were on private property 70 yards away from the bus stop. This is not the school’s jurisdiction, and clearly these boys did no harm to themselves or any other students at the school.
However, in the other two instances we have a very addictive drug that is harmful. It is very likely that the student with the cash and heroin in his backpack was selling this drug to students at the school. As far as the teacher goes, we can’t be sure. It’s clear that it would be in the students’ best interest for these two individuals not to be at the schools they attend or work at.
Does this judge’s ruling make workplace drug testing irrelevant? Is your employer prohibited from firing you as long is it doesn’t affect your performance (no large machinery)?
Why is it that drugs aren’t a school issue, but guns are? Is this a case of gunphobia? The one thing schools seem to have zero tolerance for these days is common sense.