Maryland State Senator J.B. Jennings recently proposed a bill that would ban public schools from suspending students who make the shape of a gun with their fingers or food (video below).
According to CBS Baltimore, the bill is in response to Anne Arundel County School's suspension of 7-year-old Joshua Welch last week for eating a pastry in the shape of a gun.
Back in January, 6-year-old Rodney Lynch received the same punishment for forming his fingers in the shape of a gun.
Neither child posed any danger to themselves or other children, but were suspended by school districts, which claimed they were trying to keep children "safe."
However, there is no evidence that the suspensions made either school safer. Rather, they just created the illusion that the schools were being "pro-active."
“These kids are 6 or 7 years old. They don’t understand what they’re doing,” said Sen. J.B. Jennings. “If it’s done in a violent manner, then yes, we can take it to the next level. We can look at suspension.
“So the parents are the one’s who’ve had concerns saying, ‘Okay, now my kid has to carry this [mark against their record].’ So when they get into middle school and they start placing them in classes, they’re going to look and say, ‘Well wait a minute, this kid has been suspended when he was in second grade.’ And he’s always going to be looked at as ‘what did he do?'"
Jennings says his bill is heading to the Education Committee. If it passes, it goes to the full Senate for a vote.
Source: CBS Baltimore