It’s just common sense

A student acted responsibly—and was expelled for it

By now the story of Gary Tudesko, the Willows High School junior who was expelled after Interquest search dogs sniffed out two unloaded shotguns in his pickup, has spread far and wide, thanks to the Internet. Both the National Rifle Association and the California Rifle and Pistol Association Legal Foundation have come to the youth’s aid.

Like many Willows youths, Gary is a hunter, and last November he and a friend went duck hunting before school. Returning just as classes were starting, and knowing that guns weren’t allowed on campus, Gary parked his pickup on nearby Willow Street, with the two shotguns unloaded and the doors locked. The dogs, after finding no drugs or guns on campus, had searched the surrounding area and located his vehicle.

As it turned out, there is nothing in the student handbook about unloaded weapons in locked vehicles off campus, and Gary had no way of knowing it was a no-no. Nevertheless, Willows High School officials kicked him out of school—a decision subsequently upheld by the Willows Unified School District board. In their determination to carry out a zero-tolerance policy, these officials defied common sense.

Let’s hope the Glenn County Board of Education, which will hear the matter on appeal at 10 a.m. on Jan. 15, acts reasonably and lets Gary Tudesko return to school.