Remember the Park Elementary student who, as a 7-year-old second-grader, was suspended from school after an incident in which he chewed his Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun? Remember the ensuing brouhaha that included his receiving a lifetime membership to the National Rifle Association?
More than a year later, a hearing examiner laid down a 30-page opinion that affirmed the suspension and characterized the discipline as anything but liberal gunphobia run amok. Andrew W. Nussbaum agreed with school officials that the suspension was not a reaction to the “gun” per se but to a history of disruptive behavior.
Nussbaum wrote: “[H]ad the student chewed his cereal bar into the shape of a cat and ran around the room, disrupting the classroom and making ‘meow’ cat sounds, the result would have been exactly the same.” The examiner questioned the judgement of the boy’s parents in inviting media coverage of the case in spite of what it might mean for the kid’s reputation.
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