January 31, 2023
Annapolis, US 36 F

AACPS Suspends 2nd Grader For Pop Tart Gun

A 7-year old boy attending Park Elementary in Brooklyn Park is suspended for using food to make “inappropriate gestures” which disturbed a class.  It seems the 2nd grader was eating a pop-tart and at one point, the uneaten part resembled a gun.  A teacher saw this, sent the boy to the Principal who suspended him for 2 days.

Not the actual weapon used in incident.
Not the actual weapon used in incident.

The school sent home a letter advising that the school counselor would be available for anyone that was “troubled” by the incident.  While it is admirable that the school has a zero tolerance policy on weapons and threats, I am not so sure that eating a pop-tart escalates to the level of a threat; much less warrants a suspension. The “perpetrator” was a 7 year old boy. It seems the only tragedy averted was some cherry filling that may have been spilled on his shirt.

But, the Anne Arundel County Schools have already set a precedent for this type of suspension. In May of 1999, a 4th grader at Windsor Farms Elementary in Arnold was suspended for drawing a gun on a piece of paper.

According to a recent report on Fox 45, the schools have now said that the boy was suspended for disrupting the class, which seems to contradict the wording in their letter to parents–“no physical threats were made and no one was harmed, the student had to be removed from the classroom.”

Has political correctness run amok in Anne Arundel County Public Schools or was this an appropriate punishment.  Or are they just overly cautious because the day before, the school sent home a letter advising parents of a man approaching students at the bus stop and at their homes offering them candy? (Note: the letter is dated 2012, however, it was put online 2/28/13 and the URL confirms the date)

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  1. Though I disagree with your characterization of this as “political correctness run amok,” this incident should raise concerns at two levels about the school. First, if the teacher felt the child’s behavior was inappropriate, why didn’t he/she handle the situation in the classroom, turning it into a teachable moment? There is an underlying classroom management problem here (hinted at by other articles that say the child has a history of ADHD). Second, why is a principal suspending a child for something like this? Is it supposed to be a message to the parents to get their child under control? This incident may be a symptom of other issues, but PC-ness is not it.

  2. Whoever did this, the teacher, the principal, the school board have demonstrated such poor judgement that I question whether they are fit to be anywhere near any children. Causing unnecessary panic used to be a crime. They should be ashamed. I think they should ALL be fired. I am ashamed that my taxes are used to pay these people.

  3. This might be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. Ignorance. Wow. If this were my child, I would be outraged and my child would never set foot in the school again. Ever.

  4. How stupid is this teacher, he or she cannot even differentiate between a ppart and a handgun.

    These incompetent lunatic teachers should be suspended, without pay. They should be fired. It is disgussting just to thing that out kid are being put in front of such insane teachers. What a waste of tax money having teacher like that in the district. No wonder this country is were it is…

  5. Stupid. Well, yes, and a perfectly good example of how AACPS works as they now attempt to wiesel out of blame. They will not admit that they are wrong or even remotely relinquish that they overreacted. They will instead deflect blame to the kid, the parent, the community. Kelloggs might end up getting the blame here. Go up from the Principal to the regional assistant superintendent Catherine Herbert, and you’ll hit a wall and be bounced back on your butt wondering whether common sense and common decency ever existed within the borders of this school system. What is supposed to be important is no longer important. What is supposed to be education is no longer education. They have no ability to deal with a child outside of the box. They can no longer think outside the miniscule box they’ve created. How about a teachable moment we dare ask our educators? They dare ask us for $1 Billion of our money.

  6. How many of us have eaten one and it also might have looked like a gun. Am sure I have. I also think the state of Oklahoma should redraw their borders and it is shaped like a gun as much as the pop tart is!

  7. And parents are entrusting their children to these “judgment geniuses” on a daily basis?!?!?!?

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