Student safety is non-negotiable

-A A +A

In the past two weeks, three middle school students were disciplined for bringing knives to school. These incidents were reported in the local media as “deadly weapons.”
 The Los Alamos School Board has established very strict policies regarding weapons on campus to ensure student safety at all times.
By school policy definition, any item or device which may be used as a weapon, including pocket knives (regardless of size) are considered weapons.
By school policy definition, any weapon which is capable of producing death or great bodily harm is considered a “deadly weapon.”
Investigation by school administrators showed that students were not intending to use the knives but were found in possession of them on school grounds.
A knife regardless of size is considered a weapon so the police participated in the investigations.
As such, these students were disciplined for weapons violation based on school policy.
It is important for the community to know that student safety is non-negotiable and that students who bring weapons to school will be disciplined. Parents are encouraged to talk with their children about the importance of following rules written in school handbooks.
Sharing this information with the public is not intended to cause alarm.
Rather, it is to confirm that schools are diligent in their response to tips and information about prohibited items. The school takes and will continue to take a strong stance in response to students found in possession of weapons on school property.
Over 3,500 students are enrolled in Los Alamos Public Schools.
Three knife incidents at school were reported and investigated in the past several weeks. School administrators learned of these incidents because students stepped forward to report them or because staff noticed unusual behavior in the hallways and, as such, no staff or student was in danger.
In closing, I join with a community member who called me to thank school administration and the School Resource Officer for protecting our children.

Gene Schmidt
LAPS superintendent