State Rep. Sally Kern wants to make it illegal for an Oklahoma school official to punish a student for brandishing a partially eaten pastry in the shape of a weapon.
“Let's let children be children,” said Kern, R-Oklahoma City.
Kern said she was motivated to author a bill prohibiting punishment of students who sculpt pastries into the shape of weapons by an incident last March in which an 8-year-old Maryland boy was suspended from school for chewing a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun.
Kern said she's not aware of any Oklahoma student ever being punished for such conduct, but she wants to make sure it doesn't happen here.
“As adults, let's not stir up problems and end up having on a child's school record some kind of incident like this,” she said.
Zero-tolerance policies have been taken too far, Kern contends, citing reports of students being punished for playing cops and robbers on the playground, pretending to shoot bows and arrows and wearing clothing that promotes the right to bear arms.
“It's ridiculous,” she said. “We're supposed to be a country that believes in freedom of speech.”
Kern's bill seeks to prevent students from being punished for a variety of activities related to fake guns and weaponry.
In addition to protecting students from punishment for crafting pastry into the shape of weapons, Kern's bill would protect students from punishment who:
• Possess a toy weapon which is five inches or less.
• Possess a toy weapon made of plastic or wood snap-together building blocks.
• Use a finger or hand to simulate a weapon.
• Vocalize imaginary firearms or munitions.
• Wear clothing that supports the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, unless the clothing violates a policy that requires students to wear school uniforms.
• Draw a picture or create an image of a firearm, military vehicle, aircraft or weapon or any object that protects constitutional freedoms.
• Use a pencil, pen or other writing instrument to simulate a weapon.
Kern said she has a concealed carry permit and is a staunch defender of the Second Amendment right of individuals to keep and bear arms.
“It's a God-given right that we have for self-preservation,” she said.