School Offenses

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Trouble at School:  School Threats and Truancy

“School Threats”

Under Arizona Law (ARS 13-2911), there are very specific penalties for any person who commits “interference or disruption” to an educational institution. As you read the new law, you will notice that we have underlined some specific words or phrases. If you click on these words, it will take you to their legal definition. We did this to help you understand how the legislature has defined this words because the law will be applied under these definitions.

A person commits interference with or disruption of an educational institution by doing any of the following:

1. Threatening to cause physical injury to any employee of or any person attending an educational institution. 
2. Threatening to cause damage to any educational institution, property of any educational institution, or property of any person attending an educational institution.

A person found to be in violation of this law as described in paragraphs 1 or 2 above may be charged with a Class 6 Felony. It does not matter if the above actions were not directed to any specific individual, educational institution or property of an educational institutional.


3. Knowingly goes onto or remains on the property of an educational institution for the purpose of interfering with or disrupting the lawful use of the property, or in any manner that interferes with the lawful use of the property by others. 
4. Knowingly refuses to obey a lawful order to leave the property by a school official, officer or employee of an educational institutional.

A person found to be in violation of this law as described in paragraphs 3 or 4 as described above may be charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

Expulsion
In addition to the existing reasons for expulsion, a school district or charter school is now required to expel from school for at least one year, a pupil who is determined to have violated any section of this statute. A school district or charter school may modify the expulsion requirement on a case by case basis if the pupil participates in a mediation, community service, restitution or other programs in which the pupil takes responsibility for the results of the threat. A parent or guardian may also be required to participate in mediation, community service, restitution or other programs in which the parent or guardian takes responsibility with the pupil for the threat. A school district may also reassign a pupil to an alternative education program. (ARS 15-841)

Glossary

ARS: Arizona Revised Statutes is the way in which our laws are organized. Every state law is organized under a specific title. For instance, ARS 13-2911 means that you can find this law under the title 13 which relates to the criminal laws of our state.

Educational institution: Any university, college, community college, high school, middle and elementary school in this state.

Interference with or disruption of: Causing an employee of an educational institution to take action to protect the institution or the employees, students or property.