Bill Would Bar Punishing Students for Mimicking Guns

San Antonio Express - News

Guillen said he filed the bill after a second-grader in suburban Maryland was suspended for two days in March 2013 for chewing his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun. A similar situation hasn’t arisen in Texas.

“Texas students shouldn’t lose instruction time for holding gun-shaped Pop Tart snacks at school,” Guillen said. “This bill will fix this.”

The story of Josh Welch, who finished out the year in his Anne Arundel County school, grabbed national headlines and even netted the now 9-year-old a lifetime membership to the National Rifle Association. His teacher said the suspension followed a history of problematic behavior, but Welch’s case became a rallying point for gun rights advocates after his parents said the punishment represented a gross overreaction.

The incident soon was followed by similar cases in Virginia and Florida, where students were punished for mimicking gunplay with their fingers or toys. State lawmakers reacted, some passing so-called “Pop Tart gun” bills to protect students from this type of punishment...


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