A seven-year-old pupil of Park Elementary School in Baltimore was eating his toaster pastry, and was having fun with it; little did he know it was going to send him home.
“It was already a rectangle, and I just kept on biting it and biting it and tore off the top and it kinda looked like a gun,” Josh Welch told FOX, “but it wasn’t.”
Josh, who suffers from ADHD (Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder) and excels at art, says he was just trying to shape the pastry into a mountain with his small bites, but admits “it turned out to be a gun, kind of.” His teacher “was pretty mad” and Josh could tell he was in trouble, but the amount of trouble is what is staggering about this story.
Park Elementary School suspended Josh for two days and sent home a letter to parents that informed them “one of our students used food to make an inappropriate gesture.” The school told the elder Welch that it considered his son’s actions serious because he said “bang, bang” while holding the gun-shaped pastry.
“I asked if was anyone was hurt, they said no,” Josh’s father, B.J. Welch, explained of how he handled the call from the school informing him of his son’s suspension. “I would almost call it insanity. I mean with all the potential issues that could be dealt with at school — real threats, bullies, whatever the issue is. It’s a pastry.”
This isn’t the first hyperactive reaction to a gun threat in the U.S. lately. Last Thursday in Pennsylvania, a high school student was arrested on campus after a doctor’s receptionist misheard his outgoing voicemail message to say “shooting people outside of school,” when it was just quoting the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song “shooting some b-ball outside of school.” She called the police, caused a county-wide school lockdown and the kid was arrested. He was eventually released and not suspended.
The heightened sensitivity comes after last December’s inconceivable Newtown, Connecticut mass shooting, where a young gunman shot and killed 20 first graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The U.S. government has taken initiative to create stricter gun laws, but it hasn’t been easy, with the other side of the argument fighting to save their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.
Josh says he didn’t get to finish his pastry breakfast. He also really wants to go back to school.