MD law would force schools to stop overreacting to perceived violence

MD law would force schools to stop overreacting to perceived violence
Toaster Pastry
I didn’t know that toaster pastry was loaded (with yummy filling, no less).

The “Toaster Pastry Gun Freedom Act” is what The Daily Caller dubs it. The actual name of  the bill is “The Reasonable School Discipline Act of 2013.″ Whatever you call it, the legislation, proposed by a Maryland state senator. is designed to prevent school administrators who see guns in their dreams from capriciously handing out suspensions to young children.

Maryland schools have had more than their share of headlines in recent days for overzealously enforcing zero tolerance policies. The most recent instance — and perhaps most glaring example of administrators gone wild — was the suspension of a 7-year-old who inadvertently chewed a toaster pastry into the shape of a gun.

The Star Democrat reports that Sen. J. B. Jennings, a Republican who represents Baltimore and Harford Counties, introduced the proposed bill, telling reporters:

We really need to re-evaluate how kids are punished. These kids can’t comprehend what they are doing or the ramifications of their actions.

The same might be said of school officials, who have suspended 6-year-olds in two separate instances for pointing their fingers as though they were gun barrels.

“These suspensions,” Jennings went on to say, “are going on their permanent records and could have lasting effects on their educations.”

Jennings’s proposed legislation, Senate Bill 1058, prohibits “a principal from suspending or expelling a student who brings to school or possesses on school property a picture of a gun, a computer image of a gun, a facsimile of a gun, or any other object that resembles a gun but serves another purpose.”

The bill also includes a provision that essentially gives school officials a taste of their own medicine by mandating counseling for teachers and administrators who fail to distinguish between guns and things that resemble guns. Counseling was administered to students at Park Elementary School (the scene of the toaster pastry incident) who were “traumatized by the experience.”

Officials who fail to make such a distinction more than once could themselves receive a timeout.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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