ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A major blow for a father trying to clear his son’s name. The suspension for a seven-year-old boy has been upheld after he chewed his breakfast pastry into a gun.
The story stirred up controversy nationwide, WJZ’s Rick Ritter explains, while his parents demanded the suspension be taken off his record.READ MORE: Three Maryland Nonprofits Get $50,000 In AARP 2021 Community Challenge Grants
“It was blue and it was a rectangular one, a cherry one,” Josh Welch said.
It’s the world’s most controversial pastry — one that ripped through national headlines.
“It wasn’t a big deal to him. He figured it could go bang bang and he was just playing around,” his father, B.J. Welch, said.
In March of 2013, second grader Joshua Welch chewed his breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun and pretended to fire it. Park Elementary School suspended him for two days, leaving his parents outraged.
“I don’t see a reason for it to be there, and that’s been my goal since day one,” his father said.
After a three year battle, an Anne Arundel County circuit court judge has ruled the boy’s actions were disruptive and that a suspension was appropriate.
“No violence, no real weapon, no ammunition,” the family’s attorney, Robin Ficker, said.READ MORE: Chaotic Pop-Up Block Parties Disrupt North Baltimore Neighborhood
Ficker says there is no reason why the school shouldn’t just reverse the suspension.
“It will be on his record in school and every time he goes into a new grade. There’s a presumption he did something wrong and he’s a bad kid,” said Ficker.
Officials with Anne Arundel County Schools have always said Josh’s behavior wasn’t a one-time deal. They say there were 20 documented incidents before he was even suspended.
They released a statement, saying in part: “We have believed from the outset that the actions of the school staff were not only appropriate and consistent, but in the best interests of all students.”
Ficker says his next move is to appeal, and even though the school continues to hold its ground, he will keep firing away.
“There’s a way to go through a stone wall if you keep pressing and are persistent,” said Ficker.
Ficker says he has represented other children before in similar cases, and claims their suspensions were lifted.MORE NEWS: Summer Surge: As Coronavirus Infections Rise In Maryland, Some Reveal Why They Won’t Get Vaccine; Hogan Says ‘Breakthrough’ Infections Under 1%
Ficker says he will be appealing to the Court of Special Appeals.