Florida pushing to pass 'Pop-Tart' law

By Scott Johnson, General assignment reporter, sjohnson@wjxt.com
Nicholas Jones, Producer, njones@wjxt.com
Published On: Feb 07 2014 11:10:00 PM EST
Updated On: Feb 07 2014 06:47:03 AM EST

The "Pop Tart Law" is being debated in the Florida house. It's a backlash against cases like one recently in Maryland, where a student was suspended after making a pop tart in the shape of gun and pointing it at other students. Now there's an outcry over "no tolerance" policies that go too far.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

There has been an outcry over zero-tolerance policies in schools after cases like the Maryland student who was punished for shaping a Pop-Tart in the form of a gun and pointing it at classmates.

To think a student might get in trouble for shaping their hands in the form of a gun, or even make a Pop Tart look like a gun and brandish it at school may seem ludicrous to some, and that's why a Florida lawmaker wants to change the law.

It's called the "Pop-Tart law," and it's actively being debated in the Florida house. The law would also allow pro-gun and pro-2nd Amendment shirts in schools. 

"With this policy, there's also a layer of common sense that would clearly indicate you need to use discretion and not move toward police-like activity, when it was clearly horseplay," said Rep. Dennis Baxley, a supporter of the legislation. 

The push is a reaction to school district's zero-tolerance policy for keeping firearms out of school. The legislation says it would ban school districts from "brandishing a partially consumed pastry or other food item" which seemed ridiculous to some, but others aren't sure lightening up on guns is a good idea. 

The law would also allow teachers to punish students who disrupt learning or pose a legitimate threat. Channel 4 crime analyst Ken Jefferson doesn't think the bill is a good idea and said the law would just keep school administrators from doing their jobs.

"It's an overreaction simply with the teachers and administrators watching behaviors," said Jefferson. "I don't think they need to change the law."

The bill has passed a House Education Subcommittee and has a few more hurdles before becoming a law.

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