Weapons at school is a nationwide issue seen every year in some shape form or fashion.
It can range from simply leaving them in a vehicle on school property to a few students bringing them for show-and-tell to the worst, an on-campus shooting.
In all cases now, guns and weapons are not allowed on public school campus in any shape form or fashion and Alexander City Police DARE officer Cpl. Marcus Billups will establish those with students yet again as they return to campus.
“Parents and students can’t say they don’t know about it,” Billups said. “We go over it at the beginning of every school year through presentations during orientation. It is also covered in the student handbook, just like dress code and behavior expectations. Parents and students receive and acknowledge by signing a form they have and read and understood the handbook.”
Billups said even toy guns and airsoft guns are not allowed.
“They replicate real guns,” Billups said. “They look like the real thing and can cause trouble.”
If students hear of or see another student with a weapon they should report it immediately to teachers, coaches or administrators.
“Basically, they should report it to any adult on campus,” Billups said. “They shouldn’t worry about being a snitch because they could be saving a life.”
Weapons are not the only things not allowed on school campuses.
“There is a zero-tolerance policy with drugs, alcohol and tobacco,” Billups said. “Guns are a no-brainer and get you expulsion. Drugs and narcotics will at least get you suspended and possibly expelled. A student can get moved to in-school suspension after review by the school board.”
Cell phones can also cause trouble for students.
“Basically they are not allowed but can be kept in lockers at school,” Billups said. “That way students can still have access to them when not in classrooms and after school to give parents updates to what is happening with extracurricular activities.”
Billups said cell phones lead to another problem amongst students – obscene photographs – and advises how to handle it if a student receives one.
“They are not just going to get you in trouble at school but legally too,” Billups said. “Don’t share or send them, if you do, you just committed a crime. If a student gets one, notify administrators.”
Billups said parents should take control of what students bring to school and what they are doing on cell phones and social media.
“Don’t be afraid to go through your kid’s backpack,” Billups said. “While you are at it, take a look at what and who they are texting, calling and chatting with via phone and social media. They could be getting in trouble and not realize it.”
Billups said if someone has a question about whether or not something is allowed at school, it’s probably not allowed. He offers a simple list of things for students to bring to school.
“Basically bring something to write with, something to write on and your brains,” Billups said. “Bring those three things to school; you will be ready for learning and not get into trouble.”