A Republican lawmaker has introduced legislation that would block funding to schools that prohibit children from playing with imaginary guns.
Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, says the Student Protection Act aims to stop the enforcement of policies that “punish innocent children” by cutting funds to schools that abuse “zero tolerance” weapons policies.
“Something must be done to restore sanity to the schoolroom,” Stockman said Tuesday in a statement. “The Student Protection Act would end the practice of using federal taxpayer dollars to subsidize schools that enforce these policies that abuse and harm young children.”
In March, second-grader Josh Welch was suspended from a Maryland elementary school after unknowingly biting a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun.
“I just kept on biting it and biting it and tore off the top of it, and it kind of looked like a gun,” Welch told a local Fox affiliate at the time.
In May, a kindergartener was suspended from his school bus and given detention for having a Lego gun, the size of a quarter.
The bill states that “zero tolerance” weapons policies “are being used to outlaw harmless expressions of childhood play” and “are being used to teach children to be afraid of inanimate objects that are shaped like guns.”
Schools would face cuts in federal funding if they punish students for specific activities, including carrying toy guns, using a finger or hand to simulate a gun and wearing a T-shirt that supports Second Amendment rights.
The good news is the bill will bring back common sense. The bad news is we have to legislate common sense at all.
Do you believe zero tolerance policies work or should common sense prevail?