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Bill to protect schoolchildren from discipline over gun-shaped toaster pastries moves ahead in Fla.

Posted Mar 7, 2014 4:15 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A child who chews a toaster pastry into the shape of a gun would be protected from severe repercussions by elementary or high school authorities under a proposed bill moving forward in Florida that is intended to prevent excessive discipline under zero-tolerance policies concerning weapons.

The so-called Toaster Pastry Gun Freedom Act, sparked in part by the suspension of a 7-year-old child in Maryland under similar circumstances, expressly protects those found to have been “brandishing a partially consumed pastry or other food," according to the Miami Herald.

Officially known as House Bill 7029 and Senate Bill 1060, it got an OK from the House Education Committee on Thursday.

A lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, Marion Hammer, attended a Thursday hearing but did not testify. Afterward, she noted that the NRA is not “driving” the proposed state legislation.

The proposed bill has bipartisan support, NPR's StateImpact Florida blog reports.

“What I really like about this bill is it still allows for disciplinary action if it is a threat,” said Rep. Carl Zimmerman, D-Dunedin. “If a kid comes to a teacher and points their finger and goes ‘pow,’ like that as a threat, they can still be disciplined. This just takes the absurdity out.”

See also:

ABAJournal.com: "Lawmakers propose ‘Toaster Pastry Gun Freedom Act’ to stop school suspensions over imaginary weapons"

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