You may remember a story we wrote about back in 2013 which detailed the school suspension of a 7 year old boy for biting a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun. We also covered his first appeal, which he lost.
Now a judge has upheld the suspension. Reason reports:
Judge Upholds Suspension of the Pop-Tart Gun Kid
Remember the Pop-Tart gun kid? He was 7 years old when he was suspended for chewing his breakfast (not actually a Pop-Tart, as it turned out) into the shape of a weapon and pretending to fire it at his classmates. Now he’s 11, and Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Ronald A. Silkworth just upheld his suspension.
In the end, the case hinged on whether the pastry incident was, in fact, the last straw in a long line of disciplinary problems. The Maryland school says yes; the parents say at the time of the suspension they were told that the two day suspension was a direct result of the deployment of food weaponry and that no other incidents were mentioned.
The story got national attention. The Florida legislature even passed a bill specifically protecting the act of “brandishing a partially consumed pastry or other food item to simulate a firearm or weapon.”
Last year the Maryland State Board of Education backed the school’s narrative, finding that: “The student in this case had a long history of behavioral problems that were the subject of progressive intervention by the school. He created a classroom disruption on March 1, 2013, which resulted in a suspension that was justified based on the incident in question and the student’s history.”
Here’s a clip from FOX News in 2013 which explains the back story:
Of course, there was one upside to this story. The Washington Times reported in 2014:
NRA gives lifetime membership to boy suspended for Pop-Tart gun
The 8-year-old Baltimore boy who was suspended for chewing his Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun was awarded a lifetime membership with the National Rifle Association Wednesday night.
At a fundraiser for Anne Arundel County Republicans, House Minority Leader Nicholaus R. Kipke presented Josh Welch with the $500 membership during a tongue-in-cheek presentation that involved a Pop-Tart fashioned into pistol and gun safety tips, The Baltimore Sun reports.
Josh, who suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, was suspended from Park Elementary School in March after he ate his breakfast pastry into something that administrators thought resembled a gun.
“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,” he told Fox Baltimore at the time of the suspension. “All I was trying to do was turn it into a mountain.”
But now the little boy has become an icon among gun rights activists, even receiving a standing ovation at Wednesday’s conference.
It’s amazing that this ever became a national news story in the first place.
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