So there was a kid suspended for chewing his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun.
At Park Elementary school, Josh was enjoying his breakfast pastry when he decided to try and shape it into a mountain.
Josh said, “It was already a rectangle and I just kept on biting it and biting it and tore off the top and it kinda looked like a gun but it wasn’t.”
Josh takes full responsib[ilit]y for trying to shape his breakfast pastry, but admits it was in innocent fun. He told FOX45, “All I was trying to do was turn it into a mountain but, it didn’t look like a mountain really and it turned out to be a gun kinda.”
Now a lawmaker is introducing the Reasonable School Discipline Act of 2013 to prevent similar suspensions. How are you going to legislate something like this?
Sen. J. B. Jennings, a Republican representing Baltimore and Hartford counties, introduced this legislation on Thursday. The bill would, absent a direct act of violence on school grounds, prohibit students from being suspended for “mak[ing] a hand shape or gesture resembling a gun” — the bill would also stop principals from expelling students who bring to school “any other object that resembles a gun but serves another purpose.”
My first impulse is to say you can’t legislate common sense. But I’ll have to think about this. The fact is, school officials have absolutely no incentive (other than media exposure) to apply “zero tolerance” policies in anything but an unthinking and absurd fashion.
Somehow, counter-incentives have to be created. Something has to happen to cause principals to say: “I’d like to suspend this child for a clearly innocuous activity, but unfortunately the law requires me to apply a measure of common sense. So we’ll just have to let this one go.” I’m not sure if this law is the best way, but maybe it is. Your thoughts?