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Oklahoma lawmaker files bill to protect students creating imaginary weapons

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.
by Randy Ellis Published: January 9, 2014

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.

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by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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