On Tuesdays here we highlight The Toolbox—an all day program focused on discipline issues with students with disabilities. One of the “tools” in the Toolbox is Tool #5—the Removal of a Student due to “Special Circumstances.” One of those “special circumstances” is the possession of a “dangerous weapon.”
So in that context, we need to think about HB 1935, which makes a significant change in our laws pertaining to knives. Our definition of “illegal knife” has always included daggers, dirks, stilettos, poniards, bowie knives, swords and spears, along with any knife with a blade of more than 5.5 inches. This law simplifies things. Now, an “illegal knife” will be called a “location-restricted knife” and the definition is simple: any knife with a blade of more than 5.5 inches.
What’s confusing to a lot of people is that the federal definition of a “dangerous weapon” is not the same as the Texas definition of an “illegal weapon.” Under federal law, a knife is a “dangerous weapon” if it has a blade of more than 2.5 inches. So a knife with a three-inch blade would be “dangerous” under federal law, but neither “illegal” nor “location-restricted” under state law. Tool #5 authorizes the principal to order the immediate removal of a student who possesses a knife with a blade of three inches, even though the possession of that knife does not violate state law.
This change in terminology should be reflected in your Student Code of Conduct. Our firm has a model Code that has been updated to reflect this change, along with all the other changes in state law. If interested in the Walsh Gallegos Model Code of Conduct, just contact any of the lawyers in our firm.
DAWG BONE: WE NEVER DID KNOW WHAT A PONIARD WAS ANYWAY, SO GOOD RIDDANCE!
Tomorrow: How long does it take to enlist in the military?