Pastry Gets Boy Suspended from School (Because It Looked Like a Guess What?)

Readers — I don’t have any comments to make about this latest “Boy Suspended for the Stupidest Reason On Earth” story, but I figured you’re going to hear it soon, might as well hear it here first. And remember: When boys who shape their pastry into a mountain that, to their teacher, looks like a gun, get suspended, only teachers who suspend boys for making mountains will have gun-shaped pastry.

Or something like that.  – L.

Baba au gun?

78 Responses to Pastry Gets Boy Suspended from School (Because It Looked Like a Guess What?)

  1. Silver Fang March 1, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    Maybe the teacher saw Close Encounters.

  2. pentamom March 1, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    I’m not finding any reference to this on the WBFF website. Are we sure this is real?

  3. Michael March 1, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    Speechless…. there are no words.

  4. Tony Shreck March 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    @Pentamom ~ It is on the WBFF Facebook page. Maybe that gets updated faster than their web site?

  5. Nancy March 1, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    Maybe it is easy for me to say this from Canada but why not just ban “real” guns. Like they did in Australia and UK?

    ??????

  6. EricS March 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    And she’s a teacher?! Wow! With idiotic teachers like that, why even bother going to school to learn. When all kids will learn from her is to be stupid. lol

  7. Heather E. March 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    off the subject but I knew a high school art teacher who found out, after about six months, that one of her students had been making clay bongs the entire year. Yet he had so cleverly disguised them that she never knew until another student ratted him out. One bong was a car where the trunk opened (where the stash was stored) and an exhaust pipe (where he smoked it)

    Maybe the pastry weapon creator was just being creative! Give the kid points for ingenuity how about it?

  8. hineata March 1, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    How is it even legal to suspend a kid over something so stupid? In NZ and I’m sure mot other Western countries you need to have serious grounds to suspend a child, especially a child of that age. For example, they have to have, say, actually injured a classmate, or suffered uncontrollable rages in which they’ve hurled equipment highly likely to injure someone. You can’t suspend a kid for making his doughnut into a funny shape. Hell, even it was bitten into a penis shape, a social worker would be called, rather than the kid being suspended.

    This is beyond ridiculous.

  9. hineata March 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    ‘most’, not ‘mot’.

  10. Filioque March 1, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    Whenever things like this show up in the news, 99% of commenters seem to be completely against zero-tolerance policies and suspensions for “incidents” like these. So if the (admittedly unscientific) evidence seems to suggest that the vast majority of adults are against this kind of knee-jerk overreaction, why is it allowed to go on?

    Something to chew on!

  11. M March 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    And we wonder why kids have no respect for their teachers.

    Let’s suspend the teacher for 2 days without pay, and the principal as well. Anyone that stupid shouldn’t be working with kids.

  12. S March 1, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    Nancy–because then only criminals and the government will have guns. If you want no way to protect yourself from bad guys, then that’s your business. *eye roll*

  13. pentamom March 1, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    Yeah, I know it’s on the FB page, I’m just suspicious because it’s not on their main site. And two hours later, it’s still not there. It’s a news site, but a news item hasn’t been posted two hours later after they posted the video on their FB page? Dubious.

    Not that I find it hard to believe that this could happen, but I also find it easy to believe that it could be a hoax or gag of some kind.

  14. Donna March 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    @hineata – It is incredibly easy to suspend kids in the US. Just about anything you can think of can amount to a suspension. My favorite was always suspending kids for truancy and tardiness. I’m not sure how one even rationally thinks “This kid doesn’t come to school and the appropriate punishment for that is more days off school, this time with everyone’s permission.”

  15. Jenna K. March 1, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    I just don’t understand all these suspensions over likenesses of guns. I don’t see how it even relates to any “zero tolerance” policy. Shouldn’t the concern be about real guns? I could understand if someone brought a toy gun that looked real too. But a gun made out of whipped topping or other food? Or a reference to a bubble gun? Or guns made with fingers? Those things aren’t even threatening! People in this country have lost their minds!

  16. lollipoplover March 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    Does it fire munchkins as ammo?

  17. mollie March 1, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    Who cares if the kid intended for it to be a gun? Let’s say he was working toward an eye-poppingly realistic representation of an AK-47.

    WHO CARES?

    My 8-year-old girl is a bit obsessed with human reproduction, and makes all sorts of body-part-inspired art out of anything she can lay hands on. Because… well, it’s part of life! For kids in the US, guns are part of life. Might as well let the kids express themselves.

  18. Kate Engberg March 1, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    I’m going to assume the picture with your comment is NOT the one the boy made. Because that is a picture of a SEMLA. It is a Swedish pastry with almond paste and whipped cream that is sold from about January 2 until just after Easter. And it definitely looks more like a mountain than a gun.

  19. Robert Davidson March 1, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    I he chewed a pastry into an assault shape that must not be named that is definitely grounds for suspension. On the other hand, if it was only a semiautomatic shape that must not be named, suspension is a bit of an overreaction.

  20. Smatsy March 1, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    For what it is worth, I work at an elementary school in America and I can’t fathom any thing like this ever happening; at least not without this being a tiny part of a much larger story.

  21. Emily March 1, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    When I saw this video, I was thinking that a round pastry like that one would be pretty hard to make into a gun shape, so the boy’s claim that he was trying to make a mountain instead was much more plausible to me. Also, since the teacher threw out the allegedly “gun-shaped” pastry, and nobody thought to photograph it, it’s her word against the boy’s. I think that maybe the teacher just didn’t like this boy, and was looking for any excuse to exact revenge, even though he was what, seven years old? It reminds me of an incident in grade nine, with my geography teacher, who never liked me. One day, it was right after class (end of first period), and she was talking to me, probably about some mistake I’d made on my homework or whatever, and I told her that I had to leave, or I’d be late for gym class. She accused me of calling her a “female dog,” and the vice-principal believed her instead of me, so I got detention. It wasn’t the worst punishment ever; I just had to sit in the library at lunch time and read from some self-help book about kindness and “liking people first,” etc. (slightly grating, as I’d done nothing wrong, but not horrible), but it was the principle of the thing–that incident left me puzzled, and ultimately taught me that if an adult doesn’t like me, they can falsely accuse me of things and get away with it.

  22. Debra March 1, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    In my experience with two sons, they make guns out of darn near EVERYTHING. It doesn’t mean a blasted thing. Good lord. This is so beyond ridiculous.

  23. CrazyCatLady March 1, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    Yup, I believe it could happen. A friend’s neighbor’s child at the end of the day put his hands together up high, and then brought them down as though he was stabbing a sword into the ground.

    He didn’t get suspended, but the parents did get called in for a talk with the principal. Because they have “Zero tolerance policy.” Yes, they are considering homeschooling.

    When this stuff started, it was at least you brought something to school, like the girl who had some pain reliever for her cramps. Now it seems, if you draw a picture of pills for your cramps you can get suspended.

  24. Emily March 2, 2013 at 12:46 am #

    @Crazy Cat Lady–I was in the public school system from 1989-2003, so I was in high school towards the end of that, and “zero tolerance” was a household expression then, but honestly, my high school kind of half-assed it. Either we had zero tolerance, or we didn’t, but I don’t remember, because a lot of the rules were kind of unevenly enforced. I was considered to be one of the “good” kids (lots of activities, well-liked by peers and adults, mostly good grades), except I was bad in math, but my parents wouldn’t let me drop it in grade eleven (mandatory math only went until grade ten), or change from “advanced” to “general” (I was advanced or enriched in everything else, as all of the “university-bound” students were). So, instead, I visited a math tutor once a week, and I also wrote my math tests in the Resource Room. This gave me a lot of insight, because I saw the “special ed” kids being treated a lot more harshly than the advanced, the university-bound, the “joiners,” the popular, etc. For example, some of them had timed bathroom breaks (and, one boy was humiliated by having to explain that he’d “need more than two minutes,” for obvious reasons), one girl was ONLY allowed in the library on Thursdays at lunch time, and the teachers just spoke a lot more harshly to those students than they did to us non-regulars. They also had less choice with regard to course selection. But, anyway, one day, one of the “regulars” had a headache, so I offered her one of my Tylenol, which she gratefully accepted. This came up from time to time in my other classes, and not a word was said, but the teacher on duty in the Resource Room at the time told me that that “wasn’t kosher,” because she “didn’t have a note from her parents or doctor,” or some such nonsense. At the time, I was in grade eleven, so I was sixteen, and the other girl was maybe a year or two younger than me. Anyway, during the rest of my time at that school, I often thought about the “special ed” kids, and felt badly for them, because being treated like delinquents surely didn’t help them to like school any better.

    On the other end of the spectrum, I remember being allowed to walk into the office, behind the desk, to get the key for the P.A. room (I did announcements), and being excused from classes fairly often because of some student council or band-related thing I was helping with, or even excused from school altogether, if we had to go on a supply run for Spirit Week or whatever. So, as bad as zero tolerance may be, blatant favouritism really isn’t great either, even though I was one of the “favourites.” There has to be some kind of middle ground.

  25. Alec Duncan March 2, 2013 at 4:53 am #

    @S Oddly, most people in Australia don’t think of the government as “bad guys”, and we aren’t worried that they have guns and most of the population don’t. We have a way of protecting ourselves from bad governments: we vote them out of office at the next election.

    Gun ownership does zero to protect the populace from a government “gone bad”; possibly you are not aware of this, but no matter how many guns you and your fellow citizens own, the government owns more, bigger and more serious weapons. Your weapons offer you no protection: they only offer you the appearance of protection.

    A citizen’s militia armed with hand weapons has exactly zero chance of fighting a government armed with tanks and fighter bombers. Try it if you don’t believe me :)

    Australians may not agree with everything our government does, but we overwhelmingly supported our government when they introduced much stricter gun control policies back in the mid 90s after one of the world’s worst gun massacres at Port Arthur, in which 35 people were killed and 23 wounded by a lone gun man armed with semi-automatic rifles.

    We’ve now got some of the strictest gun control laws in the world, and we, as a nation, are profoundly grateful for them. Since the change we have had no more massacres – not one! They were common here before the change.

    And other gun violence has also dropped markedly, as have accidental shootings and suicide by guns. It has worked.

    Do some criminals have guns in Australia? Of course: they are criminals and they ignore the law. But it has become very much harder for criminals to obtain guns, because the sorts of guns that criminals want (pump action shotguns, semi-auto centre-fire assault rifles; & semi-auto pistols and large calibre revolvers) are almost unobtainable here. As a result, gun usage by criminals during all crimes has also dropped markedly.

    Our sensible gun laws have protected us in many ways – perhaps the USA could learn something from countries like Australia and the UK.

  26. pentamom March 2, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    “A citizen’s militia armed with hand weapons has exactly zero chance of fighting a government armed with tanks and fighter bombers. Try it if you don’t believe me.”

    Thanks, I’ll ask the Syrians. ;-) I’m not actually advocating the “guns to fight the government line” but situations like Syria indicate it’s not quite as simple as “they have tanks, the people have guns.” An armed resistance can in theory (and as in Syria, in practice) build itself up from small beginnings to make a significant threat — in a situation where the government has not reached the level of brutality of a Syria, it’s possible that armed resistance could be an effective restraint on them, because they don’t actually want to massacre their own population.

    Again, I’m not advocating that policy, but that’s the theory behind it.

  27. Emily March 2, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    My favorite part of that little article was that no one was threatened or harmed by the pastry. Thank goodness.

  28. Andy March 2, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    @pentamom Serious discussion about potential civil war in United States is kinda scary. To be honest, the idea that self selected armed group would throw down American government by force and gained access to its power is even more scary.

    I have trouble to believe that someone willing to start civil war over non brutal government would have any democratic ideas on what to do after they win.

  29. John March 2, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Nancy, the “banning guns” debate as been fought and tossed around millions of times in the United States and even liberals are now conceding that a total ban on guns is not practical and would never work.

  30. John March 2, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    Alec, the gun laws you have in Australia would no longer be practical in the United States as we have approximately 350 million guns here in the U.S. If we were somehow able to pass laws prohibiting gun ownership for the average citizen, then yes, certain types of gun tragedies would be averted BUT it would also introduce a whole new array of problems such as organized crime and gun running. In that case, only the criminals would have guns and there would be much more murder and mayhem committed by them. So you’d trade one problem for another. It would be similar to a ban on alcohol. Just wouldn’t work in the United States cause there’s too much of it here already.

  31. CrazyCatLady March 2, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    It really sounds like the teacher and principal have better imaginations than the kid. Which should be the other way around if we want innovation happening in our country again.

  32. mollie March 2, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    You know, even if he’d made what he proudly declared was a gun, and even ran around and said “pow pow,” how is this any different from a kid pretending he’s made a little lion and “roars” it at another kid’s pastry.

    It’s imaginative play. Sometimes it looks like aggression, and we can guide kids, in the moment, to play in ways that work for them and for others, but the idea that this behaviour must be forbidden means that there is a denial of what childhood is.

    Children’s natural expression does not get checked at the door of the schoolhouse. It pains me so much to see teachers and other authorities in the school system pretend that it does, or should be. Assault is one thing, Feigned “assault” with a “finger” gun, “pastry gun” or description of what a child would like to do to their playmate that they are cross with just doesn’t sound like grounds for anything but compassion to me.

  33. E. Simms March 2, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    You know what? The shape of Oklahoma “kind of” looks like a gun, and the shape of Florida “kind of ” looks like a flaccid penis. Maybe these states should be banned from maps hanging in schools.

  34. Donna March 2, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    I don’t advocate taking all guns away, but the world would not be more full of murder and mayhem if they were. Yes, criminals would still have them but they have them now. I’ve yet to meet a criminal who is armed with a gun who is afraid of your gun. I have yet to meet a criminal deterred from a crime by the possibility of a gun being present. In fact, burglars LOVE to find out you have guns when they break in, because then they have guns. And I’ve known very few who have been shot in the process because of the exact argument we have two posts down – there is simply not that much crime committed on the general public.

  35. pentamom March 2, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    Andy, FWIW, it’s not so much revolution and overthrow that people have in mind when they talk about this, it’s resistance.

    If you believe (and that’s a big if) that something like the government rounding people up for this or that unjust reason could happen, armed resistance would be a legitimate form of opposition to that action, but it would not be the same thing as overthrowing the government.

    Again, look at Syria. I’m not 100% supportive of the “rebels” there — it could be a pretty bad lot. But there is no theoretical reason any country could not *eventually* head in such a direction, and should that happen, people feel that protecting themselves against that kind of regime would at least be worth a try.

  36. Donna March 2, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    And gun prohibition would eventually lead to a decrease in guns available for criminals. Many guns in the hands of street criminals were stolen from the homes of honest gun owners. If there are no honest gun owners from whom to steal guns, there are less guns on the street. Gun runners would still bring them across the border but the common street thug would have a harder time getting them because they are poor and unconnected.

    And a prohibition on all guns is easier to enforce than a prohibition on some guns and some people owning guns. A gun in plain sight of an officer is simply illegal. No need to waste time trying to determine legality or illegality – something they cannot even delve into unless they have probable cause to believe the gun is illegal.

    Again, I don’t advocate a prohibition on all guns. I just think most of NRAs scare-tactic arguments for guns are stupid.

  37. lollipoplover March 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    The automatic response to assume a threat is what is really the problem.

    And here’s another one…absolutely ridiculous!

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57572190/bad-fresh-prince-rap-triggers-pa-lockdown/

  38. Scarlet March 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    These are touchy times. Most boys do talk about guns and play with pretend ones from a small age but it is also understandable that there is a high sensitivity to it at this point in time.

  39. CrazyCatLady March 2, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    The times be much too touchy and lack common sense. And honestly, we (my family) need our guns. (Rifles.) We hunt. For food for our table. And we need to protect our livestock. We also need a quick means of putting down suffering animals, because sometimes waiting for the vet (or going to the vet) means needless suffering on the part of the animal.

    And besides, even if my sons never saw an actual real gun of any sort, they are still boys and are interested in all things military, both in the past and in the future. They would still read books, they would still play and still draw and sculpt them. Because they are boys. What is the difference really, between that pastry shaped like a gun and a pastry shaped like a light saber? Not a whole heck of a lot. Not enough to get a kid in trouble over, but if the kid made a light saber he would probably be in school.

  40. Steve March 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    Wow!

    What a difference in attitudes between THEN and NOW!

    On this wikepedia page, we get a very interesting look into the public’s attitude toward school kids, and teachers regarding GUNS.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States

    “The issue of students carrying guns to school was a topic of discussion dating to the mid-1870s, as noted in this 1874 Los Angeles Herald article:

    “Boys and Pistols Yesterday at noon a boy sixteen years of age shot himself, or was shot by his brother. It matters not who fired the fatal shot. No criminal act was intended or committed, and the boy is dead. He was a member of the High School of this city and was, we are told, something over the average good boy of Los Angeles. This boy lost his life through the too common habit among boys of carrying deadly weapons. We do not know that this habit can be broken up. We do not know that school teachers have the right, or would exercise it if they had, of searching the pockets of their pupils, but it seems almost a necessity that some such rule be enforced. The hills west of town are not safe for pedestrians after school hours. Nearly every school-boy carries a pistol, and the power of these pistols range from the harmless six-bit auction concern to the deadly Colt’s six-shooter…”

  41. Melissa C March 2, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    Sometimes I truly think there is no hope for our society.

  42. SKL March 3, 2013 at 12:58 am #

    What I want to know is, was it an automatic suspension or a semiautomatic one?

  43. SKL March 3, 2013 at 1:04 am #

    To the point of how easy it is to suspend kids in the USA? Yes, very easy. My 6yo is one step away from it, I’m told. The previous offense was theft of a candy cane from the class Christmas tree. Next one (of any degree, even if it’s only a Smartie) will result in suspension. :/ I hope and pray the teacher doesn’t put any jelly beans on display during march. :/

    I had an in-school suspension for tardies. LOL. My brother was suspended for having cigarettes in his coat pocket at age 18.

    I’m not exactly sure why the schools think this is helpful. I’ve never heard of any studies done to see if suspensions improve behavior. I kind of doubt it. Suspensions are fun.

  44. SKL March 3, 2013 at 1:16 am #

    Come to think about it, a candy cane looks an awful lot like a gun, if you hold it a certain way. I think the teacher should be suspended.

    Since the threshold for gun suspensions is so low nowadays, I think we should give all teachers an inkblot test and fire anyone who thinks they see any sort of weapon in the ink blot. After all, unless that 7yo kid was an amazingly talented sculptor, how the heck does someone see a gun in a mangled piece of pastry?

    (After watching the video, I must admit that I wondered if the boy didn’t get himself in trouble by protesting too much when his teacher took his goody away. He looks about ready to smack someone. However, I imagine that kids must feel pretty oppressed in a place where grown-ups come up and confiscate their dessert for no good reason. That oppressed feeling can make some kids strike out.)

  45. hineata March 3, 2013 at 5:06 am #

    @Pentamom- if resistance is the issue, then what about Waco, and some of the chaps in Montana and the like? Those sort of ‘armed resistance’ situations don’t appear to end well. Though it is an interesting theory….:-)

    @Alec – I agree with your thoughts, but I think we outside the States probably just can’t understand the level to which a fairly substantial group of Americans are emotionally attached to their ‘right’ to own guns. One of my uni lecturers would have found some kind of phallic symbolism in the idea, I’m sure. Personally I would find it quite bizarre/frightening to think that the friend I was having coffee with might have a gun in her handbag – what if she got cross with me while we were talking? – but we all have a different way of thinking.

    @Crazy Cat Lady – yep, guns used wisely are very useful.

    But the idea that people need guns to fight their own government seems rather counterproductive in our Western democracies. Really, methinks there have been too many Hollywood movies about corrupt government practices – even the US government seems not actually out to destroy its own people. Foreign peoples like the Iraqis, maybe, but not its own.

    @Donna – do you not think John might be right, that there are simply too many guns in the US now to relieve criminals of them in a useful amount of time?

  46. Andy March 3, 2013 at 7:09 am #

    @pentamon Syrian government was brutal as far as I know and Syria is very ugly place right now – for everybody. Rebels guns did not served as deterrent and if there would be no international help, they would already lost.

    “If you believe (and that’s a big if) that something like the government rounding people up for this or that unjust reason could happen, armed resistance would be a legitimate form of opposition to that action.”

    I think that it depends very strongly on circumstances. In most cases, I would say no.

    If I disagree with war against drugs and think that soft drugs should be legal, would armed resistance be a legitimate form of opposition? Would it really help me or larger society if I would start shooting cops after they come for me for drug possession?

    If circumstances go to the extreme, then yes armed resistance is legitimate. But, you need way more then unorganized citizens with hand guns in that case. You need organized military like opposition with military equipment.

  47. Captain America March 3, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    There should be more male teachers in elementary school to leven the estrogen.

  48. Donna March 3, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    @ hineata – I don’t think we are ever going to relieve criminals of their guns. We are not an island and have very porous borders with two other countries. We won’t keep the guns out any better than we keep cocaine out.

    The point is that criminals are predominantly shooting each other, not us. And this is not because we have guns. If your average criminal thought out their crimes that well, I’d be out of a job. It is people who have guns legally who commit crimes like Sandy Hook (and any guns legally in your home are legal guns even if not licensed to you personally). And I’m not sure why the US is up in arms about a bunch of criminals shooting each other.

    That said, unless we get rid of the 2nd amendment, we can’t ban guns completely. The 2nd amendment is not sacrosanct as some would have you believe. Limits on it are possible just like there are limits on free speech and what we can do in the name of religion. But an outright ban can’t happen.

  49. Donna March 3, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    That should say “I don’t think we are ever going to FULLY relieve criminals of their guns.” Banning guns would relieve some of the common street thugs with no gang or cartel affiliation from having guns. And pretty quickly since their guns get dumped or discovered during arrest pretty regularly. There are always going to be a substantial number of criminals with guns.

  50. b March 3, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    States mandate that kids go to school, if they suspend a child for frivilous reasons into inaction, they are depriving that child of the schooling they are required to give. Courts can and have ordered teachers from the picket line back to class, then they can also stop this nonsense.

    This is not about sensitivity.

  51. SKL March 3, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    I kind of like the way the logic developed here. Kid’s donut looks like a gun maybe => ban real guns. Banning real guns would go a long way toward reducing the dangers of having fake / pretend guns created by young kids. Of course to completely weed out this evil childhood tendency, we’d have to go into every house, library, and museum and remove every weapon that exists, and every book that mentions guns, and every photo/painting that depicts guns, and every song that mentions firepower (including the US national anthem) . . . .

    OK, I know I’m pushing it a little, but seriously . . . I almost feel like there needs to be a law affirmatively permitting kids to make renderings of firearms as part of their creative productions at school. This type of nonsense is just taking too much out of us as a society. Let kids be kids, and let teachers / administrators focus on the substance of their jobs.

  52. hineata March 3, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    @SKL – I think you are probably right, concerning the law. It does seem absolutely ridiculous that grown-ups can legitimately own actual guns, and kids can’t even draw/eat/talk about any of kind of representation of these.

    Just occured to me to ask, what happens to kids who draw pictures of, say, someone being stabbed? A lot of my kids are keen on silly violent games and those Manga-style comics/cartoons, and I frequently get drawings of various types of violent death, even from the littlies. Always from boys….Dependent on what the assignment is, I usually tell them to pull their heads in and go back and do whatever I set, but if it’s their ‘free choice’ stuff they just get to carry on with it. Would kids get suspended for drawing rubbish like that? (Actually, some of it is pretty good drawing, just icky subjects). After all, it’s just drawing, for goodness sake.

    Seems like the world is going mad….

  53. Donna March 3, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    @hineata – I’m not sure if they would be suspended or not but I imagine that they would be referred for counseling.

  54. hineata March 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    @Donna – what a lot of time counsellors must waste, then. Seriously. Most of the kids I work with are well within the bounds of ‘relative normality’. They’re great kids, they just like reading or looking at stupid stuff.

    And some of the kids who draw the more gruesome stuff couldn’t stand even looking at the animal parts we were dissecting last year, let alone doing the cutting…..Somehow I doubt they’ll be acting out on their drawings anytime soon, LOL!

  55. Donna March 3, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    @hineata – It is a crazy country. I can’t believe I’ve decided to go back there in 3 months. Wish I could emigrate to your country.

  56. hineata March 3, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    @Donna – I’m sure you have lots of personal reasons for needing to head back to the States, but barring those you could probably emigrate here quite easily, I would imagine. An American friend of mine who is a teacher had her PR before leaving the States (ie before ever setting foot in NZ). I wouldn’t imagine a lawyer would have more problems, the law being a higher-status profession than teaching, after all.

    Windy Wellington would welcome you – being the seat of government, we probably have half the country’s lawyers here anyway, LOL!

  57. SKL March 3, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    Speaking of boys and drawings – that is really normal. Today I was looking at the pictures the 1st graders drew of cats, along with their own captions. The girls’ were smiley kitties with flowers and rainbows and captions such as “Kitty is happy.” (Though one of my daughters did an all-purple line drawing called “crazy kitty.” She’s weird that way.) The boys? Kitty fights, smash, crash, and the word “gross” made an appearance too. :)

  58. Mrs. Hancock March 3, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

    Back in ’96, in middle school, my favorite history teacher (recently retired from the army) was lecturing on the Vietnam war and the enemies’ tactics. As he was going about the lesson he got out his back pack, shouted “Grenade!” as loud as he could and threw a real grenade on the floor. Nearly everyone screamed in terror, but no one died because the explosives were removed from the shell. After we caught our breath we all had a good laugh about it. No one got hurt, no one went to jail, no one sued. I wonder how Mr. Zielinski’s object lesson would go over today?

  59. A Dad March 4, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    Should we start with the movies that depict gun violence?
    Unfortunately, that would prevent a large portion of the movies from being produced.

    That would be a infringement on the 1st Amendment though. Movie-makes have a much more important role in the US than the average working citizen.

    Interesting on how one amendment is more important than the others??

    In Australia, how has the gun ban affected the violent crime rate?
    Has it increased? Decreased? Stayed the same?

    I’m of the opinion that when the average citizen doesn’t have the capability to defend him/herself, then those who are willing to take advantage will do just that.

  60. Andy March 4, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    @A Dad “In Australia, how has the gun ban affected the violent crime rate?”

    Violence in Australia went down. Gun related violence dropped significantly.

    Average working citizen likes going to see action movies and 1st Amendment does not prevent restrictions on movies, comics or other art in USA. They are in place and enforced.

    Truly violent movies are not usually played in American movie theaters and are not available in conventional stores. Their age restrictions are also followed. You have to try hard to find them.

  61. hineata March 4, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    @A Dad – the average citizen would still have the ability to defend themselves. Who said guns are the only form of defence? In incidents of genuine threat to one or one’s family, there are:

    -old-fashioned punches to various parts of the body
    -bits of wood/baseball bats
    -chains,and knives
    -getting to know your neighbours, and engaging in the odd mob violence
    -if you happen to be Asian, assuming a Kung Fu stance and hoping to not be challenged (see Wong Fu Productions on YouTube for a hilarious take on this!)

    Some Americans do appear to lack imagination when it comes to defence…

  62. EricS March 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    @Filioque: It’s an individual thing. Whether per person, or per institution. In this case, both. Teacher has “holier than thou” attitude. Using her authority to push her own agendas based on her own fears. The school, no wanting to be hit with legal action, makes dumb vague rules to cover their asses. To them, if they can get sued for it, make a rule(s) to prevent such litigation. As you can see, it’s not so much about the kids, but more about the adults and their feelings and interests. They just use children as their excuse. “Zero Tolerance” = cover our asses.

    @Debra: In a world where people see “Jesus” on piece of toast, I’m not the least bit surprised they see guns in almost any shape or form. lol

    @Andy: another civil war in our lifetime? Doubt it will ever happen. It would be over in days, with many civilian casualties, and serious repercussions to the state(s) that were involved. People would have to be insanely stupid to go up against the government. And if you can believe another civil war, then you must also believe the top 1%. Which will never allow a civil war to happen unless it it’s in their agenda of global dominance. These 1%, have considerable control in governments. Imagine what they can do to civilians.

    @John: Not saying it’s any better, but there would be less guns on the street. More specifically, less guns in the wrong hands of trigger happy civilians who think (stupidly) first, as questions later. With a better gun policy (not banning), wherein it is much harder than it is now to acquire firearms, will be a better step forward than simply banning, and especially not do anything at all. So I think I can live with having 175 million guns on the street, than 350 million. Lesser of evils. Just like politics.

    @Donna: I agree with your sentiments about guns. “I don’t advocate a prohibition on all guns. I just think most of NRAs scare-tactic arguments for guns are stupid.” People are just so used to the idea the last 300 years. That many don’t even realize what the Second Amendment is really about.

  63. Donna March 4, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    @ A Dad – There is no Amendment that is not subject to some limitation for public order. Since you brought it up, there are many limitations on the 1st Amendment. For just the Freedom of Speech part, we have:

    Time, place and manner regulation – You can’t tie up rush hour traffic to make a speech in the middle of the road no matter how meaningful. You can’t enter private property. You can’t put people at risk of injury. You can’t disturb the peace of others. You may even have to get a permit or two.

    Content – Obscenity is prohibited. Speech that is likely to result in an immediate breach of the peace is prohibited. Threats are illegal. Many cities have local ordinances against the use of swear words in public. Slander and libel are illegal.

    All Amendments are a matter of striking a balance between the rights of the individual and the rights of the rest of society and the need for law and order. The 2nd Amendment is no different. Your right to own any firearm you want doesn’t trump the societal need to not have deadly weapons in the hands of people who would use them to commit crimes and harm others.

    And we understand this as it relates to the 2nd Amendment. The general public doesn’t insist that they need to be able to own fully armored tanks. We accept that surface-to-air missiles probably have no good reason to be in private hands. We are okay with people not being able to make nuclear bombs in their basements. There is not a large uproar over convicted felons and the mentally impaired being denied their rights to own firearms.

  64. Stacey March 4, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    FOR THE LOVE OF FAIRY GODMOTHERS, WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO? WHAT POSSIBLE HARM CN COME FROM FUNNY SHAPED PASTRY?

  65. Kimberly March 4, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

    Not all schools are this stupid.

    I had a student come to me the other day. Her mother had put the Mom’s purse into the student’s backpack. A lighter had fallen out into the backpack. Technically students, especially 2nd graders, can’t have lighters on campus. The child rode the bus. I took up the lighter and called her mom, who said just keep it. (If they followed the letter of the rules the girl could have been kicked off the bus for having the lighter).

    The same day another student showed up with an arsenal of play weapons. I locked them up. She is a repeat offender, I called her parents up and asked them to start checking her backpack before school again. This child is a pick up so I gave the toys to a teacher on that duty to give to the parents, and restate they need to check her backpack. (She has previously shown up with her entire wardrobe, enough toys to stock a toy store, and she causes problems with them all day long).

    Several years ago a student came to me shamefaced, He had used his backpack on a camping trip and left his pocket knife in it. We locked it up in the office, and called his parents. His Dad grounded his butt, but no punishment from school. (Dad had specifically told him to make sure he took the knife out of the backpack the night before.

    Another time I had a kid show up with a bunch of martial arts tools. I locked up the tools and called his Mom. She told me she would come by and pick them up. We were both amazed he made it to school without getting in trouble with them on the bus (poor impulse control with that one). He got in trouble with Mom and the teacher at the martial arts school.

    Note in every case we talked to the parent. No punishment from the school a couple to times punishment from the parent.

  66. A Dad March 5, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    @Donna.
    It does not equate for a criminal (a shooter) to yell fire in a crowded movie theater to my having my own gun when I have not inclination to commit a crime using the gun.

    A better example would be: Since there are deaths due to drunk drivers, all cars are banned. You can bike from Dallas to Houston (200 miles) in the 105F weather if you want to see your grandparent for July 4th.

    Or another: All alcohol is banned due to the deaths related to drunk driving. Oh, wait. That has already been tried before.

    Guns are used legitimately by people who want to use them legitimately.
    Guns are also used for illegitimately by people who want to use the in illegitimately.

    It’s the person. Not the object.

    @hineata.
    I prefer that I not have to get into hand-to-hand combat when attacked by an individual who is already intent on harming me or someone else. The attacker has the advantage in that he chooses the victim, location, time, and weapons. Hopefully, this is unlikely and I am never placed into that situation.

    A gun is an inanimate object. It doesn’t have a innate good or bad. Your fear of it doesn’t decrease my value of it.

    Someone who is legally owning and using a firearm should not face consequences due to another persons actions.

    However, fully automatic weapons, explosives, and the like are definitely out of bounds. These do not have a useful purpose in a legitimate way (hunting) or for self-protection (collateral damage). I’m not advocating having no restrictions.

    The Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) in Texas is a good example of restrictions that should be placed on individual who have guns. Now, we can identify those who are in possession illegally.

    Now to get back on subject. The teacher’s fear of the perceived likeness which is due to a 6 y/o’s imagination is extreme. If there are other indications that the child has difficulties with a desire to cause others harm, then there would be cause to investigate further.

  67. Tim March 5, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    In case anyone was concerned, counselors WILL be available to talk to students emotionally bothered by this incident: http://www.loweringthebar.net/2013/03/update-ii-school-offers-counseling-for-students-troubled-by-pastry-gun-incident.html

  68. Eli Rabett March 5, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    FWIW, the picture is of a Swedish pastry served during Lent called Semla or plural (better) Semlor.

  69. Donna March 5, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    A Dad –

    Dude, you do realize that a person is only a criminal for yelling “fire” in a building because we limit speech right? If we took the stance that no Amendment can be limited in any way, yelling “fire” would be perfectly legal, and the person yelling not a criminal. Not sure why you think that the only people who want to yell “fire” in a movie theater are people who are then going to shoot a gun. I’m sure many would find it fun, but their fun is limited to protect the safety of others.

    In fact, regulations against speech are MORE bothersome than regulations against guns. Remember that whole sticks and stones thing … speech can’t hurt anyone whether spoken by a criminal or not. The same can’t be said for guns. And is not just criminals who kill with them.

    But I never said guns should be banned. I attacked the idiot NRA argument that the 2nd Amendment means no limits can be placed on gun ownership. No amendment is sacrosanct. They can be limited for law and order purposes and to protect the rights of others in society. Always have been.

    I do agree with hineata that American’s inane attachment to their guns is phallic. Guns as self-defense are virtually meaningless for most. In a gun battle, I’ll pick the criminal as the victor most of the time. Non-criminals have a pesky conscience and hesitate to take a life, even the life of a criminal. Criminals are not so burdened. That split second hesitation is all they need. I know you don’t think you’ll hesitate and feel bad afterwards but you will. It is human nature. Even jurors who give the death penalty have been noted to suffer from depression afterwards and they didn’t pull a trigger.

  70. hineata March 5, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    @ A Dad – your ideas are interesting. I thought you were advocating all guns in the hands of anyone, which does appear to be the NRA stance.

    I am not against guns per say – they are, as you say, inanimate objects. I have used guns before. And they’re very useful. For example, it would be difficult to kill a cow with a knife to the neck – much easier to shoot them. For homekill purposes, I mean.

    I am afraid of the attitudes of some people who carry them, or rather I should say I would be if I wandered around the States. As it is I have nothing to fear because it is illegal for members of the public to have handguns here, unless they fit into an extremely small subset of collectors or sportsmen. And it is difficult to conceal a rifle or shotgun, so most folk don’t wander around with those in public unless they are doing so for legitimate reasons i.e. they’ve just come out of the bush from hunting, or they’re culling possums etc.

    Anyway, y’all will carry on doing what you (or, rather, the NRA) want, and that is after all your right. I will just remain grateful that in most of the Western world it remains a requirement that you prove at least to a minimum level that you are a responsible person before you are allowed to own a gun.

  71. Warren March 7, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    And this is why nothing will ever be done about zero tolerance rules, that cause a boy like this to be suspended.

    Because you all cannot stay on point. This is not about gun control, this is not about the constitution and it is certainly not about the NRA.

    It is about a damn poptart that a teacher with the IQ of a termite, took as a threat.

    This would explain why the states are as messed up as they are. No one can seem to deal with a specific issue without bringing in their own agenda, and trying to change the country.

  72. JP Merzetti March 9, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Right you are, Warren.
    Poptart-defining psychology would have been laughed out of school once upon a time (How to win friends and influence your teacher) but we just ain’t so funny no more.
    Agendas……..anyone can prove, disprove or rationalize anything at all with a well-stoked agenda.
    I’d say today’s kids better all major in humor – from day one….otherwise they’ll never graduate with any sanity left. (is laughter dangerous?)

  73. Warren March 11, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    @JP
    Laughter is only considered dangerous, if it is the sinister laugh “Muaaahahahah!!!” That will be taken as a threat, and have any kid suspended indefinitely.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Free Range Kids » Students at “Pastry Gun” School Offered Counseling - March 5, 2013

    […] — You’ll recall the case from a few days ago when a boy was suspended from school for the crime of biting what sounds like a Pop-Tart into the […]

  2. Free Range Kids » Right to Bear Gun-Shaped Pop-Tarts Law Drafted - March 12, 2013

    […] gun, and the imaginary grenade throw in a game of imaginary save-the-world, and last but not least the terrifying pastry gun — have given impetus to a bill proposed by Maryland State Senator  J.B. Jennings (R). His […]

  3. Proposed Maryland anti-zero-tolerance law would tell schools to stop suspending kids who point their fingers at each other and say “bang” | Next Buzz Media - March 12, 2013

    […] Lenore “Free Range Kids” Ske­nazy sums up some of the inci­dents that inspired the bill: “the Hello Kitty bub­ble gun, and the Lego gun, and the imag­i­nary grenade throw in a game of imag­i­nary save-the-world, and last but not least the ter­ri­fy­ing pas­try gun.” […]

  4. Free Range Kids » 5th Grader’s Swiss Army Knife on Nature Trip = Forced to Eat & Sleep in Isolation - April 27, 2013

    […] on them when deciding how to handle “dangers” like a boy and his Swiss Army Knife (or Pop-Tart gun, or imaginary grenade), rather than flashing on Sandy Hook.  – […]

  5. Free Range Kids » “Playing with Toy Guns Desensitizes Children to Using Real Guns…” Uh, Sez Who? - June 10, 2013

    […] comment so far: “Does a Pop Tart shaped like a gun count?” Considering how afraid we are of everything having to do with kids […]