Students at “Pastry Gun” School Offered Counseling

Ach! You haf zee streudel nightmares too? My 17th patient today! 

 Folks — 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 shape of a gun. (Supposedly he was just trying to bite it into”the shape of a mountain,” but, sure — whatever, kid. Just tell it to the judge.) Well now the school seems to be offering its students counseling.

What a relief!  I’d worried the kids would be left to struggle with PPTTSD (Post-Pop-Tart-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder) on their own, perhaps driven to guzzle milk or self-medicate with off-brand toaster pastries.

Thank goodness the school administration, which already demonstrated such clear-thinking when it comes to threats, recognized this one, too. As the site Lowering The Bar reports, this letter was supposedly sent home  for real:


Dear Parents and Guardians:

I am writing to let you know about an incident that occurred this morning in one of our classrooms and encourage you to discuss this matter with your child in a manner you deem most appropriate.

During breakfast this morning, one of our students used food to make inappropriate gestures that disrupted the class. While no physical threats were made and no one [was] harmed, the student had to be removed from the classroom.

* * *

As you are aware, the … Code of Student Conduct and appropriate consequences related to violations of the code are clearly spelled out in the Student Handbook, which was sent home during the first week of school and can be found on our website,….

If your children express that they are troubled by today’s incident, please talk with them and help them share their feelings. Our school counselor is available to meet with any students who have the need to do so next week. In general, please remind them of the importance of making good choices.

Ah, but what about those of us who need counseling to deal with the fact that anyone thinks there is the need for counseling?

Never mind. I’m off to eat my gun.  – L.


58 Responses to Students at “Pastry Gun” School Offered Counseling

  1. Kristi March 5, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    I am writing to let you know about an incident that occurred this morning in one of our classrooms and encourage you to discuss this matter with your child in a manner you deem most appropriate.

    During breakfast this morning, one of our students used food to make inappropriate gestures that “caused the entire class to erupt into an uncontrollable giggle fest.” While no physical threats were made and no one [was] harmed, the student had to be removed from the classroom. “because all nonconformity must be stamped out!”

    * * *

    As you are aware, the … Code of Student Conduct and appropriate consequences related to violations of the code are clearly spelled out in the Student Handbook, which was sent home during the first week of school and can be found on our website,….

    If your children express that they are troubled by today’s incident, please talk with them and “explain that the classroom is NO place for individuality”. Our school counselor is available to meet with any students who have “been reared by moonbats and can’t handle the sight of a gun made of faux jelly and bad pastry.” In general, please remind them of the importance of “not disrupting the sheep!”

    What they really meant!

  2. derpdedoo March 5, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    Only in jail would pretending a pastry is a gun get you in trouble with the guards.
    Schools are jails now right?

  3. Michael March 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    Was the class disrupted by the student shaping the pastry or the teacher making a big deal about it?

    I realize that schools are going to be hypersensitive right now but at some point cooler heads need to prevail. Sometimes a pastry “gun” is just a pastry.

  4. OMG March 5, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    I say we all have our children make pastry guns and send pictures of our children with said ‘guns’ to the comment e-mail address listed on the website requesting counseling! Seriously!!

  5. Ravana March 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    I’d send my kid to the counselor with instructions to tell her that he was very upset and having nightmares ever since the incident. When asked what was so upsetting I’d have him say, “It was the draconian response of the school administrators.” We’d practice that phrase beforehand until he had it down pat. This is why I decided it would be a lot safer for everyone if I never had kids.

  6. Tiffany March 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    I’m far more offended that they are calling a pop-tart a pastry than I would be by almost any shape a kid could eat one into.

  7. Bill Beeman March 5, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    This response is doubling down on stupid. Apparently, some idiot in this sorry chain of events is still clueless.

    This started with a ridiculous overreaction on a teacher’s part, but the fact that no one up the chain of command sees the problem says volumes about the lack of intelligent leadership in this school.

  8. Ben March 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    When I first heard the news, I thought things couldn’t get any more stupid, but I guess they’ve proven me wrong.
    The only one who might need counselling to deal with his wrongful suspension isn’t getting it…

  9. BL March 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    Can I “counsel” the school administrators? Please?

    (My “counseling” is what used to be called “giving them a piece of my mind” …)

  10. Fear less March 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    I’m with OMG!

  11. Steve Wildstrom March 5, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    The is a real danger here and in episodes like the administration of Oberlin College shutting down the campus because of an unconfirmed report of someone walking around in Klan robes (turned out to be a student wrapped in a blanket–it gets cold in northern Ohio.) The real danger is that students will grow up thinking that the people who run schools are idiots. Because they are.

    Of course, students have always thought the people who ran schools were idiots. But they didn’t use to have such strong evidence.

  12. Havva March 5, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    I thought that was the same story, when I saw this letter floating around. I read that letter and honestly if I received that as a parent. I would have assumed the child had formed food into “the finger” or a gang sign and started flipping other kids off and cussing. I’d also be concerned what else happened that we need be concerned what they wern’t telling me of the incident that raised the possibility that children could have been hurt. How violent and dangerous was this kid?

    Having half a clue what happened. I think I’d be complaining that it wasn’t at all clear that we parents were supposed to instruct kids that they aren’t to pretend they have weapons.

    I think I would also encourage my kid to go to the counselors and complain that they are soooo afraid that they would get in trouble for something they didn’t even know was bad because they didn’t think the boy did anything harmful. And now he has been gone for days and they are wondering just how injured this pop tart made him. And if his parents might give him another one, not realizing that pop-tarts are dangerous. And OMG I think my parents bought a box. Is there any other foods in the pantry that might hurt me. And what if another kid brings a pop-tart….

  13. Ellie March 5, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    Please, please tell me this is a parody.

  14. lollipoplover March 5, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    “one of our students used food to make inappropriate gestures that disrupted the class.”

    How anyone can type that line in a letter and send it out to parents without seriously rethinking their job is beyond me.

    If I were a student at their school, I would have a pastry sit-in. Bring your own danishes, muffins, and struedels and make them into any shape- freedom of pastry expression is guaranteed to all.
    Pastries don’t kill (though those trans fats will catch up with you over time).

  15. Donna March 5, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    “I am writing to let you know about an incident that occurred this morning in one of our classrooms and encourage you to discuss this matter with your child in a manner you deem most appropriate.”

    I deem in appropriate to discuss how idiotic I think the school is.

  16. Jet March 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    This is why I decided it would be a lot safer for everyone if I never had kids.

    This is why I decided it would be a lot safer for everyone if I homeschooled. I would do exactly the same thing, Ravana!

  17. Jackie March 5, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    Uh oh, I guess I’m in real trouble then…I have a student (high school), who is quite the artist. On his binder is a picutre of a hand with the middle finger raised, done in whiteout. I saw it the first day he arrived in my class, gave it a glance, made eye contact with the kid, raised an eyebrow, and moved on. No one commented on the folder, he keeps it generally covered with his textbook anyway, and is a polite and well mannered, if a tad eccentric. I like him a lot since he is a free spirit. What harm is his folder doing to anyone? There are no curse words on it, it’s HIS folder, and he doesn’t flash it around. I shudder to think what the school administrators in this story would make of it. Should I send a letter home to parents and advise counseling?? (snark)

  18. JJ March 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    “please remind them of the importance of making good choices.”

    Is it just me or has that phrase “make good choices” become the mantra of the condescending, overprotective, overprivileged parent. At this point that phrase is starting to make my skin crawl.

    Once again, real “news” has become indistinguishable from headlines from The Onion. Further, I have been craving a pop tart ever since I read the first article on this topic.

  19. Susan March 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    And yet last month a teacher at our elementary school was accused of physically abusing two students in front of the class and NO counseling whatsoever was offered.

    I guess I should be grateful that my 9yo wasn’t arrested in art class yesterday for his drawing of a military battle with multiple weapons, including a sniper in a tree.

  20. Emily March 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    1. When I was a kid, this kind of thing would have been a non-issue. Back then, kids (especially boys) made guns, penises, and all manner of inappropriate things out of paper, sticks, traffic cones, juice boxes, you name it. The most it ever earned was a mild reprimand. Oh, and I’m pretty sure that toy guns were permitted on the playground, as long as you weren’t squirting people with water who’d made it clear that they didn’t want to participate/get wet. Let me add that “back then” was between 1989 and 2003, so it really wasn’t that long ago. I’ll never forget the boy who used to draw war scenes, and make tanks out of graph paper–that was in 1998 (the year I finished grade eight), and he was given an art award at the end of the year. Nowadays, he’d probably be suspended or expelled.

    2. Does anyone else think it’s a bit odd that a school breakfast program would be serving Pop-Tarts in the first place? I hope that this was an occasional treat, as opposed to regular breakfast fare at school. Pop-Tarts may taste good (I have a penchant for the original, unfrosted strawberry kind, which are almost impossible to find), but they’re full of sugar and chemical additives, and woefully lacking in vitamins, fibre, protein, and things that kids need for a full day of learning. Maybe I’m being ridiculous, but I always see school breakfast programs being touted as a way to “promote good nutrition,” and give students “brain food,” and Pop-Tarts, although delicious, don’t really mesh with either of those ideals. Also, I kind of feel badly for the poor teacher who has to be there to witness the collective sugar spike, and the resulting crash.

  21. bmj2k March 5, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    This is worse than the silly Pop Tart shape because this is practically telling kids that they should have been scared and disturbed!

  22. yan March 5, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    There has to be more to this story… We made contact explosives and set them out in the hall. We made anatomically correct sculptures from hot dogs and meatballs. We climbed walls ( the hallways were just wide enough to where you could put your feet against one wall, hands against the other, and climb up to the ceiling.)

    Yes, we had fun in school. I can’t imagine what those kids will grow up to be.

    Counselling because a kid chewed a pastry? I’d organize a society for creative anachronisms event at the school!

  23. mollie March 5, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    I think the administrators should be more concerned about making mountains out of molehills instead of weapons out of Pop-tarts…

  24. Parallel March 5, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    I am honestly aghast at the stupidity on display here. I would assume it was a post from the Onion if I didn’t know better. How does this happen? How does any adult in their right mind get freaked over PASTRY?

    Random story…when I was in high school I took art, which included a section on pottery and clay work. We were told to create a gargoyle from clay. I was very proud of my creation…it was a gargoyle bust with big fangs and horns. The teacher insisted that I had to cut off the horns because they were ‘demonic’ and threatening. I ended up failing because I refused to castrate my guy. Why did the teacher assign gargoyles in the first place if horns were such an issue? Even the principal thought it was bizarre, but refused to intervene.

  25. Dave March 5, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    How do these people keep their jobs?

  26. steve March 5, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    While the school letter said a counselor would be available, I wonder how many parents might want to meet with that counselor to express concern for the sanity of the person who made their school a laughing stock.

    According to the website for Park Elementary School in Brooklyn Park, Maryland, Kathryn Fieldhouse is the principal so concerned that her students may have suffered trauma when 7-year-old Josh Welch bit his “breakfast pastry” into the shape of a gun.

    But surely we can understand why Principal Fieldhouse might be concerned about students in such a dire situation. According to a video, Josh was heard to say bang, bang, which could be interpreted as a threat.

    Personally, I think most students feel more threatened by a pop-quiz than a pop-tart. But maybe the principal already outlawed those, considering that threatening word “pop.” (Oh! Just typing that word makes me tremble! )

    I can’t help but wonder if this all might go back to when she was a child. Perhaps she had a nightmare in which she was held captive by boys in her own first grade class who threatened her with not one, but many assault pastries.

    Most of us remember uncomfortable threats from school days, but those involved scowling, demanding teachers, tests and grade cards – not pop-tarts!

  27. SKL March 5, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    Somebody please tell me there is a lot more to this story, because if not, I’ll tell ya who needs “counseling” . . . .

    Even if the kid did act disturbing for real, kids have a great capacity for putting up with other kids’ foolishness. Having to put up with foolishness from the adults in authority is a bigger problem.

    The whole “sending a note home” is a new pet peeve of mine, now that my kids are in 1st grade and I get the most ridiculous, annoying notes, way too frequently. A couple weeks ago I was informed that my 6yo was not following along in class. This is the one who is years ahead of the curriculum. The teacher specifically commented that my kid is NOT disruptive. So . . . why am I getting this note?? You want me to beat my 6yo for sitting quietly in her seat and putting up with being bored?

    Then last week I got a note complaining because my struggling 6yo got a 100% on the math review, thanks to my tutoring her at home. The teacher wants me to stop going over stuff at home because she remembers it the next day. How awful! Terrible, I say. I mean, if my kid gets her work done right in class, the teacher will have to look harder for an excuse to keep her in from recess. :/

    I could go on, but I’ll spare you. I mean, it’s nice to know what’s going on, but at some point the teacher ought to take ownership of her job and let me take ownership of mine.

  28. SKL March 5, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    Speaking of fear in schools, you should have heard my 6yo talking about the standardized tests today. Either we think kids can handle fear/stress or we don’t. Which is it?

  29. Emily March 5, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    @Mollie–I agree; the school WAS making a mountain out of a molehill, especially since the kid was actually trying to make a mountain out of his Pop-Tart, rather than a gun.

  30. Bob March 5, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    Why is it that every passing day seems to bring one more reason to be thankful that my kid doesn’t go to school?

  31. Emily March 5, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    @SKL–If your child is bored in class because the material is too easy for her, would it be possible to move her to a gifted class, a grade two class if there is no gifted class, or even change schools entirely? I’m only saying this because, if this is a problem now, it might get worse as she gets older–I was in that boat when I was in grade school, and I remember the frustration that came with not being allowed to read ahead, work alone, ask deeper questions, spend recess in the library, etc. Anyway, I’m not entirely sure how your kids’ school operates, but I think it might be a good idea to talk to someone at the school about options for your daughter, because every child deserves to be happy at school, and that includes feeling engaged and challenged.

  32. Gina March 5, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

    We are creating a generation of Mentally Ill children by counseling them when no counseling is needed. They will have no sense of what is normal and appropriate if EVERYTHING has to be micromanaged and overthought.

  33. gap.runner March 6, 2013 at 12:37 am #

    When I first read this, I thought it was from The Onion. It just couldn’t be real. The old adage of truth being stranger than fiction applies here.

  34. Jen Connelly March 6, 2013 at 3:28 am #

    They only thing they’ll need counseling for is dealing with the overreaction of the administration. The kids don’t care about a poptart gun.

  35. Andy March 6, 2013 at 5:47 am #

    @SKL I think that I kind of understand your kid. I always had better grades from harder classes then from easy ones. I was not following when it was easy and then had bad grades. I sort of knew the topic generally, but missed too many details in class (that has been required on test later on) or was too slow to solve exercises (cause I did not bothered to solve enough of them to gain efficiency).

    That was true from elementary to college. Btw, it gets better once he is old enough to learn the content from book, then the “not following in class” becomes less of a problem.

    Choosing harder classes or school helps a lot in such case. Also, some teachers supplied me with more difficult exercises, so I did not felt that much bored and actually did them. It provides challenge such kid may need. It also makes the kid realize that despite knowing a lot, there is even more to learn – that realization was important for me at the time.

    Rant: It also helps if the teacher judges kids actual knowledge and skills more then “classroom activity”, “motivation”, “how beautiful that useless project is” and other feel good nonsense. Sadly, the trend seemed to be to value “classroom participation” over actual knowledge – but that might have changed in the mean time.
    End of Rant

  36. Earth.W March 6, 2013 at 6:25 am #

    I’m feeling traumatised just from reading about out.

  37. Earth.W March 6, 2013 at 6:48 am #

    In my Catholic primary school, I remember boys and girls showing each other their genitals, what their underwear looked like and other simple natural kid stuff.

    In my Catholic High School, we did things like glue the drawers shut in the teacher desks, put condoms on door knobs, sit in a different classroom to see how the teacher reacts, amongst other things.

    Not sure how our activities would be taken by school admins these days.

  38. Jeff March 6, 2013 at 7:28 am #

    Why would any right minded parent send their kids to government run schools? Forgive me, but maybe they are the ones who need counseling ; ) . Seems like each week we get more evidence that liberals have no common sense and only want to control our lives.

  39. ebohlman March 6, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    I’m starting to think that as much as I generally consider Christina Hoff Sommers to be be a thinly-disguised apologist for Social Darwinism, her book The War on Boys is becoming more and more prophetic (and the main refutation of her arguments that I’ve seen sounds superficially attractive but doesn’t pan out, namely that school is absolute hell for feminine boys and transgender girls and therefore masculinity in boys really is valued. But I don’t think her arguments automatically imply that since schools reject masculinity in boys, they must therefore value femininity in boys; they’re also consistent with boys finding themselves in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” position).

    I think the real problem is partially that our schools are run by people who see boyhood as an alien phenomenon, and partially that our whole concept of childhood is being defined by the clinical study of the very most vulnerable kids.

  40. pentamom March 6, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    Andy, I think SKL is talking about two different kids. She has twins.

  41. lollipoplover March 6, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    I don’t know why this story makes me think of Carl Warner and his various food landscape books for children (A World of Food is our family favorite) gone horribly wrong. The book is dedicated to all children who love to play with their food…some just do.

    But this kid didn’t create a semi-automatic strudel or a profiterone pistol- he made a bad mountain. How far this school has taken this creative sculpture makes them the laughing stock of the internet and our public education system.

    In terms of “Food Counseling” provided, I’d much rather see this resource go to families who are food insecure and don’t know where their next meal is coming from instead of overly sensitive administrators who fear death from a Pop Tart.

  42. Robin March 6, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    The children need counseling because they saw another student doing nothing wrong get into big trouble. That’s frightening at any age!

  43. Dirge March 6, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    It is high time we banned the letter L and all things L-shaped. probably F too.

  44. Captain America March 6, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    OKAY, hear me, friends:

    I have a great disgruntlement, a great problem, with the use of the term

    To my ears, this is a squishy banana of a word, that can be stuck on just about anything one dislikes or opposes.

    At times, it is a mealy-mouthed way to say “immoral” when a moral matters crops up. . . and the ostensible authority’s worldview dislikes the explicit utterance of value language.

    And of course, it carries a psychology connotation, so the utterer can evince “expertise.”

    BUT at the end of the day, “inappropriate” is so muddy and vague, that it can label and command anything.

  45. Emily March 6, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    Hey, I just thought of something else–how does this school handle teaching arts and crafts that require the use of a glue GUN?

  46. Fear less March 6, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    Check out my kids’ (and one buddy’s) reaction to this story:

  47. Emily March 6, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Fearless, you have awesome kids, and that video is hilarious. Also, it’s lucky that you just happened to have Pop-Tarts in the house when this story came up on FRK.

  48. Puzzled March 6, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    Captain – I agree. I’ve always been troubled when colleagues refer to a student as having acted inappropriately. It’s a weasel word. Tell us what is actually wrong with it – inappropriate is so broad that it means nothing, and can be cover for “I just don’t like it.” It allows subjective and arbitrary punishment.

  49. Heath March 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    Perhaps we need a pre-K or after-school program to teach kids how to eat or cut, while avoiding any shapes similar to a gun. Why, just today, my 2 year-old ate his PB&J into an “L” shape. Was he threatening me and I didn’t even realize it? That kid can be diabolical. I think @Dirge is onto something with the idea of banning the letters “L” and “F”, altogether. Hell, let’s take out “k”, too! Just in case! Also, let’s just go ahead and ban the word “gun”, in writing and/or in speech. You can never be too safe!

  50. Heath March 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    All of this is just an extension of the ever-growing threat of helicoptering. These types of people tell the kids and their parents that they should be traumatized, because they WANT them to be traumatized. It’s just another way to control the kids. And the parents that also want their kids to be traumatized will force their will on the sane parents and not much will be said, because it’s not in the nature of sane parents to react one way or the other to other people’s insanity. Parents and administrators who think school-aged kids would do anything other than laugh at something like this are just closet Fascists who think that we should all have the same beliefs and social mores. And this isn’t a rant against one political belief or the other, because these types of people are prevalent throughout the political spectrum.

  51. Linda Wightman March 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    I actually looked this up on, it is so unbelievable. But it is not mentioned.

  52. Bee Kirch March 7, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    Another thought: Yes the school administrators are insane, seriously insane to make anything out of a student eating a pastry into any shape at all. But in this day of being green etc, I can’t believe they wasted a ream of paper printing a letter this stupid to send home with the kids… Shame on you school – wasting class time, wasting parent’s time, wasting counselor’s time, and wasting ink and paper.
    I’m trying my best to raise free range kiddos – but even more importantly free thinking kiddos.

  53. Emily March 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Does this story remind anyone else of this video?

  54. Emily March 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    P.S., For anyone whose YouTube isn’t working the video I posted was from Monty Python’s “And Now For Something Completely Different,” where the gym teacher is teaching the boys in the class how to defend themselves against an attacker wielding a piece of fresh fruit.

  55. SKL March 9, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    Today I saw a news story saying some politician wants is proposing a law against these kinds of sanctions for ordinary child’s play.

    I’m glad someone up there sees that this is utterly ridiculous. But sad that a law would be needed for something that ought to be the most basic common sense.

  56. Peter March 11, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    I am so glad I am childfree. Life is so much simpler without all that fertilizer.

  57. Stacey March 11, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    Has this school banned bannanas? I hate when aults expect kids to be tramuatised by stuff just because adults are. This is the same mentality that makes homophobes think homosexuality is somehow harmful to children. “This bothers me, therefore kids shouldn’t be exposed to it”. I almost hope something like this happens when I have kids, just so me and my kid can tell the counsellor how upset we are by the administrators suspending someone for no good reason, and act like I thought that was the reason they were offering counselling.


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