Weapons, Violence and School Safety

The Yarmouth School Committee believes that students and staff are entitled to learn and work in a school environment free of violence, threats and disruptive behavior. Students are expected to conduct themselves with respect for others and in accordance with School Committee policies, school rules, reasonable unwritten behavioral expectations and applicable state and federal laws.

School staff are required to immediately report incidents of prohibited conduct by students to the building administrator.


Students are prohibited from engaging in the following conduct on school property, while in attendance at school or at any school-sponsored activity or at any time or place that such conduct directly interferes with the operations, discipline or general welfare of the school:

  1. Possession and/or use of articles commonly used or designed to inflict bodily harm and/or to threaten, intimidate, coerce or harass another person. Examples of such articles include but are not limited to firearms, BB guns, pellet guns, any other kind of gun, ammunition, explosives, cross-bows, long-bows, brass knuckles, switchblades, knives, chains, clubs, Kung Fu stars and nunchucks;

  2. Use of any object, although not necessarily designed to be a weapon, to inflict bodily harm and/or to threaten, intimidate, coerce or harass another person. Examples of such articles include but are not limited to bats, belts, picks, pencils, compasses, objects capable of ignition (e.g., matches, lighters), files, tools of any sort and replicas of weapons (including toys);

  3. Violent or threatening behavior, including but not limited to fighting, assault and/or battery, taking hostages, threats to commit violence against persons or property (e.g., verbal or written death threats, threats of bodily harm, bomb threats);

  4. Verbal or written statements (including those made on or through a computer) which threaten, intimidate or harass others, which tend to incite violence and/or disrupt the school program;

  5. Willful and malicious damage to school or personal property;

  6. Stealing or attempting to steal school or personal property;

  7. Lewd, indecent or obscene acts or expressions of any kind;

  8. Violations of the school unit’s drug/alcohol and tobacco policies;

  9. Violations of state or federal laws; and

  10. Any other conduct that may be harmful to persons or property.

An intended exception to this policy would allow the teaching, in school locations, of hunter safety courses offered by and with the cooperation of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife as well as archery courses taught by certified instructors. It should be noted, however, that firearms, ammunition, bows and arrows, etc., may not be stored in any school location.


Principals may suspend and/or recommend expulsion of students who violate this policy based upon the facts of each case and in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. Conduct which violates this policy is deliberately disobedient and deliberately disorderly within the meaning of 20-A MRSA§1001(9) and will be grounds for expulsion if found necessary for the peace, safety and functionality of the school. Such conduct may also be grounds for expulsion under other provisions of 20-A MRSA§1001(9 and 9A) that specifically prohibit the use and possession of weapons, infractions of violence, and possession, furnishing and trafficking of scheduled drugs.

Students who are found to have brought a firearm to school (as defined by federal law) shall be expelled for a period of not less than one year, unless this requirement is modified by the Superintendent on a case-by-case basis.

All firearms violations shall be referred to law enforcement authorities as required by law. Other violations of this policy shall be referred to law enforcement authorities at the discretion of the Superintendent.

Students with disabilities shall be disciplined in accordance with applicable federal and state laws/regulations and School Committee policy JKF.


The School Committee authorizes the Superintendent to request an immediate psychological evaluation of a student who violates this policy when, in his/her opinion, such an evaluation will assist in assessing the risk the student poses to school safety if the student were to remain in school.

The Superintendent is also authorized to request psychological evaluations of students who have been identified as posing a substantial risk of violent behavior.

All such evaluations shall be performed at the school unit’s expense.

If the parent/guardian and/or student refuse to permit a requested psychological evaluation, the Superintendent and the School Committee may draw any reasonable inferences from the student’s behavior concerning the risk the student poses to school safety for purposes of determining the appropriate action.

Legal Reference:   
17-A MRSA§§2(9); 2 (12-1)
20 USCA§8921 (Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994)
20-A MRSA§§1001(9); 1001(9-A);
Cross Reference:   
ACAA - Harassment and Sexual Harassment of Students
ADC - Yarmouth School Department Non-smoking Policy
EBCA - Crisis Response Plan
JICH - Drug -Free Schools: Chemical Use by Student Policy Grades K-12
JICH-R - Drug-Free Schools: Chemical Use Student Procedure Grades K-12
JK - Student Discipline
JKD - Suspension of Students
JKE - Expulsion of Students
JKF - Disciplinary Removal of Students with Disabilities
JKF-R - Disciplinary Removal of Students with Disabilities Administrative Procedure
Adopted: May 11, 1995
Revised: August 28, 1997, March 25, 1999; April 2007, November 8, 2018