Guillen’s bill is likely to be popular with gun groups, which are making a concerted effort to pass legislation this coming year to legalize the open carrying of handguns in Texas.
If you think it’s a half-baked idea to legally protect kids’ rights to play with their food, think again, says one Texas lawmaker.
Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City, has filed a bill that would prohibit schools from punishing students who use their hands, playthings and, yes, even pastry items to mimic firearms. The proposed legislation also would protect students through the fifth grade who play with toy guns or draw or possess pictures of guns.
Guillen said he filed the bill after a second- grader in suburban Maryland was suspended for two days in March 2013 for chewing his Pop- Tart into the shape of a gun. A similar situation has not arisen in Texas.
“Texas students shouldn’t lose instruction time for holding gun-shaped Pop-Tart snacks at school,” said Guillen. “This bill will fix this.”
The story of Josh Welch, who finished out the year in his Anne Arundel County school, grabbed national headlines and even netted the now 9-year-old a lifetime membership to the National Rifle Association. His teacher said the suspension followed a history of problematic behavior, but Welch’s case became a rallying point for gun rights advocates after his parents said the punishment represented a gross overreaction.