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"Pop-tart" bill clears Florida house
Some Florida Legislators are trying to reduce the punishment for students who simulate having a firearm at school.
It's being called the 'Pop-tart' bill after a 7-year old Maryland student was suspended for eating a pop-tart shaped like a gun.
The bill cleared a Florida house panel Wednesday.
Channel Three's Kavontae Smalls has more on the pop-tart bill and reaction from parents.
Having an actual gun on a school campus can land a student into some serious trouble, but what about a toy gun, a drawing of a gun or even eating a pastry in the shape of a gun.
Florida Representative, Dennis Baxley's "Pop-tart" bill is meant to stop school districts from punishing students, who simulate guns in the form of toys, drawings, their hands, and even food as in the case of the 7-year old who bit a pop-tart in the shape of a gun.
Kelly Allen, a parent, said "Eating a pop-tart in the shape of a gun I don't think that's necessary for expulsion, a case by case approach is a better thing."
Malcom Thomas, Escambia Schools Superintendent, said "If you eat a pop-tart, and make it the shape of a gun, that's not going to be treated the same as a student who has a 38 special in their book bag."
Escambia County schools changed it's zero tolerance policies towards firearms 2 years ago.
In fact, the district has removed the term 'zero tolerance' from its student's rights and responsibilities handbook all together.
Superintendent Malcom Thomas says cases involving firearm simulations are handled on a case by case basis.
However, when students are caught with drugs, making bomb threats, triggering a fire alarm or possess a real gun, by law they must be considered for expulsion.
The proposed pop-tart bill seems to have a lot of support amongst parents we ran into.
Gary Cotton, a parent, said "I like the common sense approach I think we're overbearing sometimes."
The bill now goes to the Full House Education Committee for debate.