Suspension over gun-shaped toaster pastry is now permanent mark on kid’s record
This week brought more bad news for Joshua Welch, the Baltimore-area second-grader who was suspended for two days because his teacher thought he shaped a breakfast pastry into something resembling a gun.
School officials have denied an appeal to have the suspension expunged from the boy’s permanent record, reports The Baltimore Sun.
Robin Ficker, the attorney representing Welch and his family, said he will now take the matter to the Anne Arundel County school board. Under local regulations, he has 30 days to do so.
“If this school can’t educate a seven-year-old without putting him out of school, how are they going to deal with 17-year-olds?” Ficker said, according to The Sun.
Welch, who is now eight, was suspended from Park Elementary School for two days in March after he allegedly sculpted the pastry into something that maybe looked like a gun.
At the time, Welch told Baltimore FOX affiliate WBFF that his goal was to turn the prefabricated delicacy into a mountain, but that didn’t really materialize.
“It was already a rectangle. I just kept on biting it and biting it and tore off the top of it and kind of looked like a gun,” he said.
“But it wasn’t,” the boy astutely added.
In May, Ficker met with school officials in a failed attempt to have the suspension removed from Welch’s record.
On Monday, Ficker received a letter officially denying the request. The letter came from an unnamed school district official acting as an agent of Superintendent Kevin Maxwell.
The district’s reasoning is unclear. Bob Mosier, a spokesman for Anne Arundel County schools, had no comment for The Sun.
While it seems like Joshua Welch’s spring has been pretty awful, there has been a glimmer of good news. Two months after Welch was suspended, the National Rifle Association granted him a free lifetime membership (which is worth around $550). (RELATED: Boy suspended for ‘Pop-Tart Pistol’ receives NRA lifetime membership)
Also, Sen. J. B. Jennings, a Republican who represents Baltimore Harford Counties, introduced “The Reasonable School Discipline Act of 2013.” The bill, which apparently went nowhere, was designed to curb the zeal of public school officials who are tempted to suspend students for having things — or eating things — that represent guns, but aren’t actually anything like real guns. (RELATED: ‘Toaster Pastry Gun Freedom Act” proposed in Maryland)