New Bill in Oklahoma Blocks Punishment for Kids With Imaginary, Toy Guns

Katie Pavlich

1/10/2014 10:30:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

You've seen the headlines, Boy Suspended For Chewing PopTart Into Shape of a Gun, 7th Graders Suspended for Playing With Airsoft Gun in Own Yard, Student Suspended for Toy Gun the Size of a Quarter, etc.

But now, a legislator in Oklahoma is putting some tolerance back into the ridiculous "no-tolerance" policies that lead to unnecessary punishment of children.

Schoolchildren in Oklahoma could not be punished for chewing their breakfast pastries into the shape of a gun under a bill introduced this week by a Republican legislator.

Rep. Sally Kern said Wednesday her measure dubbed the Common Sense Zero Tolerance Act was in response to school districts having policies that are too strict or inflexible.

"Real intent, real threats and real weapons should always be dealt with immediately. We need to stop criminalizing children's imagination and childhood play," Kern, Republican from Oklahoma City told News9.com.

"If there's no real intent, there's no real threat, no real weapon, no real harm is occurring or going to occur, why in the world are we in a sense abusing our children like this."

Under Kern's bill, students couldn't be punished for possessing small toy weapons or using writing utensils, fingers or their hands to simulate a weapon. Students also couldn't be punished for drawing pictures of weapons or wearing clothes that “support or advance Second Amendment rights or organization."


Not surprisingly, the Oklahoma Education Association is opposed to the measure. Kern isn't the first to introduce this kind of legislation, similar bills have been introduced in Texas and Maryland, and she won't be the last.

RELATED: 7 Kids Who Were Punished by Schools for Using Toy Guns