NRA and CRPA Foundation Assisting High School Student Appeal Expulsion for Unloaded Shotguns

NRA and CRPA Foundation Assisting High School Student with Appeal of Expulsion for Having Unloaded Shotguns in Off-Campus Truck

National Rifle Association
National Rifle Association

California – -(AmmoLand.com)- The NRA and the CRPA Foundation have joined forces under their California Legal Action Project (LAP) to provide legal assistance for high school student Gary Tudesko in his fight to be readmitted to Willows High School. Sixteen-year-old Tudesko was expelled on November 19th for having unloaded shotguns in his pick-up truck that he legally parked on an off-campus, public street near the Willows High School campus.

The high school is in a small rural community near Sacramento. The unloaded shotguns were in his truck because he had gone duck hunting in the early morning hours before school. The case has garnered significant national media coverage as an example of zero-tolerance policies run amuck. (See article in Chico Enterprise Record; see article in Sacramento Valley Mirror; see David Workman article; and see Fox News Video Interview of Tudesko and his mother at www.calgunlaws.com)

The shotguns were discovered in the pick up truck by scent-sniffing dogs on October 26th during a questionable school search. Police ran the license plates and determined Tudesko was the owner, then called Tudesko out of class. Tudesko cooperated and readily told the Principal about the shotguns and his early morning hunting trip.

The school first suspended Tudesko for five days, then extended the suspension indefinitely until an expulsion hearing was held. Tudesko’s mother, Susan Parisio defended her son during the November 19th public hearing on his expulsion. She challenged the school district’s legal jurisdiction to enforce the Education Code’s prohibition of guns on campus for her son having unloaded shotguns locked in an off-campus vehicle parked on a public street. Nonetheless, Willows High Principal Mort Geivett told the local School Board that, as a matter of law, it had no choice but to expel Tudesko. The Board did just that. (Notice of Expulsion is posted at www.calgunlaws.com).

Geivett claimed the school had jurisdiction over students traveling to and from school, as well as students off-campus during lunch, and that the school had jurisdiction over off campus vehicles because students could not possess firearms within 1000 feet of campus. But Geivett confused the Penal Code with the Education Code. With a number of exceptions, it is a potential criminal violation of the Penal Code, specifically the Gun Free School Zones law, to knowingly possess a gun within 1000 feet of a school. But that law has nothing to do with the sections of the Education Code Tudesko is charged with violating, which generally prohibit possession of firearms on school grounds. (Education Code sections Tudesko allegedly violalted posted at www.calgunlaws.com).

Tudesko’s truck was parked off school grounds. And Gary was not traveling to or from school at the time of the search of the off-campus truck. He was in class. Moreover, schools do not enforce criminal / penal statutes like the Gun Free School Zones law, the District Attorney does. And the District Attorney and Willows Chief of Police have already stated there would be no charges filed against Tudesko, likely because there was no intent to violate the law.

Tudesko is now appealing the local school district’s expulsion order to the Glenn County Board of Education. A hearing is scheduled for January 15, 2010 at 10 a.m. at the Willows Administration Building located at 311 S. Villa Ave, Willows, CA 95988.

Tudesko is now being defended by civil rights lawyers Chuck Michel and Hillary Green of the Long Beach based law firm of Michel & Associates, P.C. (www.michellawyers.com)

Legal issues aside, Tudesko is in this position because of a short-sighted bureaucratic approach to enforcing the school’s “zero tolerance” policy toward firearms, which is in many schools and cases is misapplied. (See Zero Tolerance Memo from Department of Education: [url]http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ss/se/zerotolerance.asp[/url and at www.calgunlaws.com]). Time and again these policies have resulted in a triumph of irrational political correctness over common sense and justice. Given that Tudesko had gone duck hunting that same morning with friends (hence the two shot-guns), had bird-shot loads as ammunition, had both firearms unloaded, had intentionally parked off-campus to avoid any issues, and had several people corroborate his story, school administrators should have acknowledged that the circumstances did not warrant expulsion. (See Administrator Discretion for Expulsions at www.calgunlaws.com and: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ss/se/expulsionrecomm.asp)

Gary Tudesko needs your help and support. Please attend the hearing if possible, and at least contact the Board of Education on Gary’s behalf through the “one click” e-mail tools at www.calnra.com or by calling the Board of Education at (530) 934-6575, or fax your note of support to (530) 934-6111

Information about Gary, media coverage, copies of legal submissions, and other documents are being posted at www.calgunlaws.com.

Although the attorneys are largely working pro bono, even so there are significant costs and other fees associated with this type of defense. Donations to the CRPA Foundation / NRA LAP are appreciated. If you are able and want to help fund Gary Tudesko’s defense, as well as other LAP efforts, please visit the CRPA Foundation(http://www.crpa.org/_e/dept/06/The_CRPA_Foundation.htm) website and make a tax deductible donation today.

The NRA/CRPA Legal Action Project is a joint venture between the NRA and CRPA Foundation to advance the rights of firearms owners in California. Through LAP, NRA/CRPA attorneys litigate to fight against ill-conceived gun control laws and ordinances, assist individuals like Gary, and educate state and local officials about the programs at their disposal that are effective in reducing accidents and violence without infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

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Tammy Wike

The "zero Tolerance" policy has run amuck I'm afraid.. They have all lost their mind.. I am sure a quick records check on this teem would reveal he is not a criminal and does not have a long lengthy criminal record.. Yes, I know that I am using criminal a lot here, but Im using it because that is how they are treating these kids/teens that DO try to obey the law, and yet they are still looking to get good kids in trouble. Use some COMMON SENSE!!!! Zero Tolerance is suppose to be used for a reason :when you… Read more »

Lexie Malaszewski

Let me get this straight…The truck was NOT on school property, the fire arms were secured and not in plain view??? Ok, so what gives the members of the school board or the administration of the school to get involved in this student's personal life again??? I don't know about anyone else but I thought (perhaps foolishly) that living in the United States of America guaranteed citizens some rights to privacy. I could understand it if the student brought the fire arms on to school grounds or left them unsecured so that anyone could get at them but this apparently… Read more »

Steve Tadlock

Our founding fathers are puking in thier graves over the mockory of justice and freedom these pissants dishing out.

The whole school board (including the coward that dissented) and principle should be personally sued for all they are worth (probably not more then 2 cents) and then sent on there way to a country that shares their beliefs, like maybe North Korea…

Heartland Patriot

This is what you get for voting (and if you didn't vote, YOU helped them get elected) in these Marxist/Leninist/Alinskyists… This is what you get when you allow them "just a few small changes" to the gun laws… This is what you get when you join unions so they can complain about the Coke machine getting moved five feet (hate mail me all you want, it's true) who then use YOUR dues to elect these people… This is what you get when you forgot about your kids, your nation and your God so you could enjoy "free love", dope smoking,… Read more »

Minnesotan

Rediculous. I am tired of hearing about a color guard parade student being expelled for having mock wooden rifles in her car. (Valedictorian no less) How about the kid that gets suspended for having nail clippers. Oh yes. Then there is the 3rd grade boy scout proud of eating lunch with his camp set tools being suspended. There is a time to digress. Maybe the time is now. When the students have more sense than the administration and teachers is a prime indicator. Sure there was a Columbine and a Virginia Tech. What does that have to do with a… Read more »

Rob H

Zero tolerance is the substitution of policy for reason. It is long past time that school administration stop cowering behind ridged regulation and exercise good judgment, not just in this matter but in all matters. Remember the 4th grader who was expelled for bringing his folding fork and spoon camping gear? There must be more important things to do.

Gary S. Josefik

Truck off grounds, weapons secured and not in open, school had no right with interence, what a student does on their time is their business, unless they are a minor and it envolves crimal activity, parents/authority need to be notified. Schools need to focus on education and what takes place on school property. Rules are made up from a chosen few, when is a general public consences really taken on issues, especially when it comes to firearms.

Pedro

The public needs to pressure the school board (politically if necessary), and demonstrate that we have zero-tolerance of morons in education.

With the education requirements to be a high school principal, we need a demonstration of how well his system works, and what he can personally achieve with his credentials in the public sector!

Gregg Weber

This is just another example of the use of Jury Nullification to protect the people from a bad law "Zero Tolerance". For the Principle and DA to say that they were just following the law is to allow the defense of "just obeying orders". They should be able to think and Jury Nullification be used to get rid of their bad decisions.

The Punisher

Not only should these scum-sucking school officials be sued into Chapter 7 and into the next millennium, but be barred from holding a job position in any school in the nation. The school property should be seized by the plaintiffs and auctioned off to the highest bidder. Remember –– these jokers are the same dope-smokers and hippie residuals held over from the 196s and 1970’s that protested and “fought” against “The Establishment” only now, they are “The Establishment” that they so hated and despised. Now the current “Establishment” has turned common sense upside-down! The only thing that stupid people understand… Read more »

Charles P

This reminds me of a situation that occurred when I was in High School. Some kid backed his car into another car and drove off. I WITNESSED this, and when I got to a telephone (before the days of cell phones) I called the school and tried to provide the information. I was told to stop bothering them, and as soon as they figured out who I was, they would ARREST ME for the auto accident. I told them I was NOT IN THE ACCIDENT! After several IDIOTIC MINUTES OF ARGUING, they told me to stop wasting their time as… Read more »

hipshot

Don't sue the School District per sea. Sue each one of the School Board members and the Principal as individuals. Make the Bastards pay; not the Tax Payers!

Rob Eide

I hope they sue these idiots untill they have to close the whole school! Anyone that voted for this should be arreseted for violation of his rights. There is no common sense left in this world thanks to the left wing p.c. supposed do gooders trying to control everything and everyone!