Georgia School Laws: What You Need To Keep In MindWritten on November 3, 2014
Everyday parents send their kids to school with their backpacks and lunches and have the expectation they will return home safe. Schools are meant to be one of the most secure places for children to go. Teachers and administrators have the responsibility of not only teaching our youth, but keeping them out of harm’s way as well.
Over the past several years, the country has been shocked by deadly acts of school violence. Most schools now have locked doors that require visitors to be buzzed in. Many schools also have metal detectors and campus police officers as added security measures. There are also a number of laws in Georgia specifically written for schools and school zones. It’s important to keep some of these in mind because most school officials have zero tolerance for any behavior that could disrupt the facility or endanger students.
Weapons in and around schools is a serious topic. Students aren’t allowed to bring any type of weapon to school. That includes toys that could pass for a real gun or knife. School districts have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to weapons. Even a butter knife, brought as a utensil for lunch, could result in a suspension.
Criminal charges aren’t out of the question if your child has a butter knife in their lunch box or a pocket knife inadvertently left in a jacket pocket after a weekend camping trip. An excuse of “I forgot it was there,” probably isn’t going to work. If this happens, your first call should be to The Silverbach Group. Your child’s future is too important to allow a youthful mistake to become a criminal record that will follow them around for years to come.
Although Georgia’s gun laws have recently changed and loosened restrictions on where a firearm can be carried, you still can’t bring a weapon into a school when picking up your child or attending a function. If you do, whether it was an honest case of forgetting or not, you can expect a school representative to call the police. Criminal charges could very well follow.
There are some other school related laws to keep in mind:
1. Loitering in a School Safety Zone: This law requires visitors at public or private schools to check in at a designated location (usually the main office) and give a reason for being there.
2. Disrupting a Public School: These types of cases are seen in the news from time to time. When it comes to our children, whether it’s discussing grades or some other issues, things have the potential to get heated. If you find yourself frustrated with an administrator or teacher, it’s imperative to keep your cool. If you become disorderly, or if there is a perception of you being disorderly, a trip to jail could be in your near future. This section of the Georgia Code is also utilized against students (or adults) who call in a bomb threat.
3. Persons Other Than Students Who Insult or Abuse Teachers in the Presence of Pupils: This is similar to the previous code section. If you are asked to leave the school and you don’t, a criminal trespass charge could be forthcoming. This statute protects teachers, administrators, and bus drivers.
4. Possession of Alcoholic Beverages on Public School Grounds: This type of behavior is often seen when adult beverages are snuck into school events like football games. There is also a statute that covers drugs on school property.
5. Students Prohibited From Carrying Electronic Communication Devices: The law now allows each school system to determine whether or not to restrict the use of cell phones or other electronic devices. You and your child should be familiar with the policy in your school district.
A good rule of thumb when it comes to schools is to use common sense. This goes for both adults and students. That being said, however, misunderstandings can occur and sometimes those situations have dire consequences. If you or your child are dealing with a school related issue and you suspect criminal charges may be filed, contact The Silverbach Group today. We are experienced attorneys who will help your family and protect your rights. You can reach us at 770-635-0334.