Maryland educators have struck again. In their quest to become stewards of the safest schools in the country, administrators in the state recently suspended not one but two 6-year-olds for pointing their finger like a gun. On Friday their overly developed imaginations ran wild in a wholly new direction.
Baltimore station FOX45 reports that 7-year-old Josh Welch created a “disruption” at Park Elementary School in “Charm City,” resulting in a two-day suspension and warning letter sent home to other parents. “Josh was enjoying [a] breakfast pastry,” the article notes, “when he decided to try and shape it into a mountain.”
Josh explains what happened next:
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.
But it was in the eyes of Josh’s teacher, who, he told reporters, “was pretty mad.”
Perhaps the most disturbing detail of the story is that Josh knew he was in trouble the instant his teacher laid eyes on the strawberry tart cum firearm. He knew he was in trouble? Is this what the state is inculcating in its young charges — an awareness that if they create an object that vaguely resembles a gun, even inadvertently, they will face serious disciplinary action? This is beyond mind control.
Josh’s dad was astounded to learn about his son’s suspension, which he views as an obvious overreaction. “I would almost call it insanity,” he said. “I mean with all the potential issues that could be dealt with at school, real threats, bullies, whatever the real issue is, it’s a pastry … Ya know?”
FOX45 fails to provide a sense of how other parents of children at Park Elementary reacted to the letter received late Friday informing them that “a student used food to make an inappropriate gesture.”
Although incidents of schools misapplying zero tolerance policies have spiked since the Newtown shootings, cases of overreaction predate the masscare. An incident similar to this latest development occurred at a Tennessee school in December 2011, when a 10-year-old was called out by administrators after he bit a pizza slice into a handgun shape at lunchtime.
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