To prevent the criminalization of boyhood, a Maryland legislator has proposed the “Toaster Pastry Gun Freedom Act” banning schools from punishing children for having something that might look like a gun but isn’t, reports The Daily Caller. (Really, it’s called the Reasonable School Discipline Act.)
The bill also includes a section mandating counseling for school officials who fail to distinguish between guns and things that resemble guns. School officials who fail to make such a distinction more than once would face discipline themselves.
Sen. J. B. Jennings, a Republican, worries that suspensions will go on children’s “permanent records,” he told the Star Democrat.
Recently, a second-grade boy at a Baltimore school was suspended for two days because his teacher thought he’d nibbled a strawberry toaster pastry into the shape of a gun. School officials sent a letter to parents — for real — offering counseling to students traumatized by the incident, reports Reason’s Hit&Run, which notes it’s not clear whether students were expected to be troubled by the snack or the suspension.
In the last few months, six-year-old boys at two Maryland elementary schools were suspended for pointing fingers and saying “pow” while playing.
Of course, not-gun hysteria is a nationwide phenomenon.
In Colorado, a second grader was suspended for pretending to throw a grenade at “evil forces” in order to “save the world.” The school has a zero tolerance policy for real or pretend fighting. His mom thinks a child shouldn’t be suspended for trying to save the world — and maybe it’s not realistic to ban little boys from playing at soldiers.