Pastry Appeal Denied.

Pastry-Gun-ROH You may remember the case of Josh Welch, a second grader attending Park Elementary School near Baltimore, Maryland. Josh was suspended last year for allegedly biting parts off a pastry (a Pop Tart or generic brand) leaving the remaining pastry in the shape of a gun.

The pastry “gun” was a rectangular, strawberry-filled bar, akin to a Pop-Tart, that the second-grader had tried to nibble into the shape of a mountain Friday morning, but then found it looked more like a gun, [father] B.J. Welch said.

Welch said an assistant principal at Park Elementary School told him that his son pointed the pastry at a classmate — though the child maintains he pointed it at the ceiling.

“In my eyes, it’s irrelevant; I don’t care who he pointed it at,” Welch said. “It was harmless. It was a Danish.”

Teachers and administrators freaked out, and suspended Josh, who was 7 years old at the time, for two days.

In the eyes of many, the incident shows the folly of so called “zero tolerance” rules in schools. Such rules equate a pastry or a drawing of a gun with the real thing. The school administrators were also accused of a lack of common sense. After all, if you want children to learn, then simply say to the child, “we don’t do that here.” Instead, the child is sent home and suspended for a pastry.

We aren’t too thrilled with the NRA either, who gave Josh a lifetime membership. To us, that doesn’t solve the problem of the people at the school who made the decision to suspend Josh to begin with and tries to make a 7 year old a poster child against gun control.

There are times when you just need to let kids be kids, an idea that Josh himself understands.

Everyone keeps asking me why I did it,” Josh said. “I don’t know why I did it … I wish people would stop asking me about it. It’ll probably go on for 45 years or something.”

One would think after all the rhetoric and all the back and forth, cooler heads would prevail and the incident would be wiped from the records of this 7 year old.

One would be wrong.

An attorney for the family of an Anne Arundel County second-grader suspended from school for nibbling a pastry into the shape of a gun said Monday that a top school official has denied the appeal to have the boy’s record expunged.


Last month, [Welch family attorney Robin] Ficker said he met with school officials in an attempt to have the suspension expunged, but no resolution was reached.

That sent the matter to Superintendent Kevin Maxwell. Ficker said Monday that he received a letter from a school official acting as the superintendent’s designee who said the appeal request was denied.

Flicker and the family will now appeal to the full school board to get Josh’s record expunged.

Sadly, this incident and others have prompted Maryland State Senator J.B. Jennings to introduce a bill that would prevent schools from suspending kids for incidents like this.

Senate Bill 1058 would prohibit a principal from suspending or expelling a student “who brings to school or possesses on school property a picture of a gun, a computer image of a gun, a facsimile of a gun, or any other object that resembles a gun but serves another purpose.” It would also prohibit a principal from suspending or expelling a student who makes a hand shape or gesture resembling a gun.

It boggles the mind that we have to have a law to regulate and institute common sense on schools.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we want to go eat a Pop Tart. We just hope the police don’t break down the door for having an unregistered pastry.

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