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Oklahoma Lawmaker Wants to Stop 'Fake Gun' Suspensions In Schools

Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern (R) introduced a bill this week that would prevent schools from punishing students who bring small toy guns, or objects resembling or depicting guns, to school.

Across the US, children have been charged for bringing firearms to school, when in reality it was a just a toy gun, a pastry shaped as a gun or even using their fingers to make a gun gesture.

Kern's bill HB 2351, the Common Sense Zero Tolerance Act, says schools shall not "punish, humiliate, intimidate, be condescending to, or bully a student" who has "possession of a toy weapon."

The bill would also allow kids to wear clothing or accessories that support or advance Second Amendment rights or organizations.

Children would also be allowed to draw pictures of firearms, military vehicles or aircraft.

"Real intent, real threats and real weapons should always be dealt with immediately. We need to stop criminalizing children's imagination and childhood play," Kern told News 9.

"If there's no real intent, there's no real threat, no real weapon, no real harm is occurring or going to occur, why in the world are we in a sense abusing our children like this," added Kern.

However, the Oklahoma Education Association opposes Kern's proposed law.

"I fully trust Oklahoma educators to handle student discipline in an appropriate case-by-case manner," said Oklahoma Education Association President Linda Hampton. "The proposed legislation removes local control from teachers, counselors, administrators and local school boards. Educators are degreed professionals, trained and experienced in dealing with children."

But Hampton did not address the incidents in which children have gun violations put on their permanent school records for non-gun objects.

“My intent is to protect children, protect families and to not criminalize childhood behavior,” Kern told KFOR. “Why do we have to wait until some child is traumatized, some parent has to deal with this issue to do something to protect children and their families?”

Sources: KFOR and News 9


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