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The Florida State legislature has engaged in a bit of sanity when it comes to Florida schools and "zero tolerance" policies. While "sanity" is a rare word when describing the acts of any collective horde of politicians, the Florida Senate Education Committee and the Florida House are ready to pass a bill to allow children in public schools to simulate firearms while playing without risking arrest, suspension or any other disciplinary action by an overzealous school administrator.
The fact that such legislation is actually needed is an embarrassment to anyone who values and engages in rational thinking and common sense, but given the number of times children have been disciplined for such "malfaisance" as bringing toy figurines that sported tiny little guns to school, suspended for bringing a utensil to school that contained a spoon-fork-knife combination to eat their lunch, booted out for pretending a chicken nugget was a gun during play, and even prevented from using sign language to say the name "Hunter," because it looks too much like a gun, the Florida legislature is taking steps to ensure that kids are allowed to be kids without jittery school administrators soiling themselves in fear of an elementary school student holding the cafeteria hostage by folding his fingers in the shape of a dreaded gun and pointing it at unsuspecting "victims."
Florida's proposed law, according to Emily Miller at the Washington Times, has become known as "The Pop Tart Bill."
The legislation got its nickname from an incident involving Josh Welch, a 7-year-old Maryland boy who was suspended from school in March 2013 for chewing his strawberry Pop Tart into the shape of a gun.
The House legislation lists the types of games that cannot get a kid into trouble, such as "brandishing a partially consumed pastry or other food item to simulate a firearm or weapon."
Schoolchildren also will be allowed expressly to use a "finger or hand to simulate a firearm," draw a picture of a weapon and possess a "toy firearm or weapon made of plastic snap-together building blocks."
Well, thank Goodness!
Hopefully, this bill, when signed by Florida Governor Rick Scott, will create a domino effect in which legislators nationwide will begin using their common sense to prevent little children and graduating students alike from being victimized and stigmatized, as well as having their futures marred by disciplinary action for something as innocent as chewing a breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun.
Our Constitution protects our right to keep and bear arms for several reasons, including defense of life and property from both domestic enemies in the form of elected tyrants and external forces intent on doing us harm. These are rights and responsibilities protected by the Law of the Land for every American, no matter what age. Children need to learn about these rights and responsibilities, and not be afraid to exercise them as a duty and honor, not as shameful acts that can be punished.
Hopefully we will see a turning of the tide in our legislatures and in our schools in favor of freedom and away from cowardice and defenselessness.
Nicki Kenyon has been an avid gun rights advocate since she returned to the United States from an overseas Army tour in Germany. She began writing about Second Amendment issues in 2001 when KeepAndBearArms.com published her first essay, "The Moment.". She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Arts degree in National Security Studies from American Military University. Her area of expertise in those fields is European and Eurasian affairs. When not writing about gun rights or hanging out with her husband and son, she practices dry-firing her M1911 at the zombies of "The Walking Dead."