Dramatic increase in Henrico students expelled for weapons - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Dramatic increase in Henrico students expelled for weapons

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

We're still waiting to hear if there are any criminal charges for the gun brought to a Henrico elementary school campus earlier this week. It happened at Ratcliffe Elementary.

The gun was found in a second grader's backpack, according to police.  While this student's case is still pending, we did some digging, and found that the number of students being disciplined for bringing weapons to school is going up.

That's not the only interesting trend, there was also a huge increase in the number of students expelled for weapons offenses.  The number increased ten times in one school year.  This data is coming straight from Henrico public schools to the Virginia Department of Education.

Earlier this week, a significant number of parents rushed to Ratcliffe Elementary when they got the call that a second grader brought a loaded gun to class. 

"When does this stop? At an elementary school?" said Kenyata Jones as she picked up her son.

And back in January, a gun was found at Highland Springs High School. It's two incidents in a month's time. "In a school division with just under 50,000 students we're talking about two instances in just over a month so I would consider it unusual in that respect," said school spokesperson Andy Jenks in a previous interview.

Unusual incidents, but part of a disturbing trend NBC12 uncovered at Henrico schools. NBC12 took a look at the Virginia Department of Education's annual report on Discipline, Crime and Violence and compared the numbers for Henrico schools. 

Here's what was found.

For the 2010/2011 school year, 94 students were disciplined for 88 weapons offenses - which can mean anything from bringing a toy gun to school to having a knife to making an object/weapon that can inflict harm. 

But the next year, 117 students were disciplined for 101 incidents. The Virginia Department of Education tells NBC12 the number of students disciplined is larger than the incident number because, "One incident might involve a number of students."

Then look at expulsion. Only one student expelled for the 2010/2011 school year. 

But 11 students were expelled last year - an increase of more than one thousand percent. The most frequent offense: bringing a BB gun to school.

Henrico school leaders say any student found to have a firearm, air rifle or bb-gun on school property shall be expelled.

Also according to the numbers, the most confiscated weapons are knives. 24 students were caught two years ago and it went up to 32 students last year.  The punishment, was up to 10 days of suspension. 

All recommended expulsions go before the school board. NBC12 called Henrico school leaders, but they did not want to comment on this story.

 

Henrico Public Schools Weapons counts and sanctions 

2010-2011

In school suspension for special ed

•  2 students for possession of other weapon (instrument/object to inflict harm)

Short term suspensions 1 to 10 days

•  17 students for possession of other weapon (instrument/object to inflict harm)

•  24 for Bringing a knife to school/school event (more than 3 inches)

•  1 for possession of BB gun

•  2 for Brining Fireworks/Explosives to School Event

•  19 for Bringing Razor Blades/Box Cutters/Knife Less than 3 inches to school/event

•  9 for Bringing a Toy/Look-Alike Gun to School/School event

•  7 for brining ammunition to school

Long Term suspension 11 to 364 days

•  1 for Possession of BB Gun

•  1 for Bringing a Toy/Look-Alike Gun to School/School event

•  1 for Bringing a handgun to school/school event

Expulsion is 365 days

•  1 for Possession of BB gun

Modified sanction for drugs and firearms (what is this?)

•  1 for Bringing Other weapon, Designed/May be Converted to Expel

•  1 for Bringing Handgun to School/School Event

Other Than That School suspension (what is this)

•  1 for Possession of Other Weapon (instrument/object to inflict harm)

•  2 for Possession of Weapons/Chemical Substances

 

2011-2012

In school suspension for special ed

•  1 for Bringing a Toy/Look-Alike Gun to School/School event

Short term suspensions 1 to 10 days

•  14 for Possession of Other Weapon (instrument/object to inflict harm)

•  32 for Bringing a knife to school/school event (more than 3 inches)

•  7 for Possession of BB gun

•  10 for Bringing fireworks/explosives to school/school event

•  7 for Bringing a Toy/Looka alike gun to school/school event 

•  2 for Bringing Ammunition to School or School Event

•  15 for Bringing Razor Blades/Box Cutter/Knife less than 3 inches to school/event

Long Term Suspension 11 to 364 days

•  2 for Possession of BB Gun

Expulsion is 365 days

•  2 for Bringing a knife to school/school event (more than 3 inches)

•  2 for Bringing Other Weapon, Designed/May be Converted to Expel

•  5 for Possession of BB gun

•  2 for Bringing Razor blades/Box Cutters/Knife less than 3 inches

Other Than Out of School Suspension

•  2 for Possession of BB Gun

•  1 for Bringing Handgun to School Event

Original document from the Virginia Department of Education

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