Father Of Boy Suspended For Molding Pastry Into Gun Still Fighting Punishment
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BROOKYLN, Md. (WJZ) — The fate of an Anne Arundel County boy is still in limbo one year after he molded a Pop Tart into the form of a gun at school.
His parents want the punishment removed from the boy’s record, but school leaders aren’t budging.
Gigi Barnett has the latest on the hearing.
Joshua Welch spent days out of Park Elementary School in Anne Arundel County last year. School leaders placed the second-grader on suspension for turning the breakfast pastry into a pretend gun.
“It was blue and it was a rectangle. It was a cherry one,” the 7-year-old said.
The punishment outraged his parents, made national headlines and set Maryland lawmakers into action, creating bills to protect non-violent child’s play in school.
“When you compare the caliber of the offense to the caliber of the punishment, they don’t match up,” Joshua’s father, William Welch, said.
He is still upset about Joshua’s two-day suspension because the district won’t erase it from his son’s record.
“I don’t see a reason for it to be there,” he said. “That’s been my goal from day one–just to have it removed from his record.”
Instead, school leaders are turning to the appeals process, letting an independent mediator decide.
In the six-hour hearing, school leaders say they suspended Joshua Welch because the day before his teacher warned him not to form the Pop Tart into a gun and he used it to disrupt the class several times before.
“This is not a single incident over a breakfast pastry. It is a series of incidents of classroom distractions that have been very disruptive,” said Bob Mosier, Anne Arundel County School spokesman.
Joshua is now a third-grader. His parents removed him from Park Elementary School and transferred him to another school.
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