An investigation has found that an elementary school principal in Baltimore who suspended a seven-year-old boy for chewing a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun acted properly in her decision.
However the boy’s family has lawyered up, and are threatening to take the case further.
Josh Welch, a second-grader at Park Elementary School, said he was trying to nibble his strawberry breakfast snack into a mountain in March 2013.
But when it started to take shape he reportedly told his classmates: ‘Look, I made a gun.’
Principal Sandra Blondell then removed Josh from school for two days.
Andrew Nussbaum, a lawyer who serves as a hearing examiner for several school systems surrounding Washington, submitted a 30-page report on Monday agreeing that Blondell was within her rights.
‘As much as the parents want this case to be about a ‘gun,’ it is, rather, a case about classroom disruption from a student who has had a long history of disruptive behavior,’ Nussbaum wrote in his opinion, according to CBS News.
‘Had 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.
Robin Ficker, an attorney for the Welch family, said that Josh may have had ‘minor’ disciplinary problems, but suspending him was taking the issue too far.
‘It seems to me that schools need, with all their expertise and experience, they need to know how to deal with seven-year-old second-graders without putting them out of the educational setting,’ Ficker told CBS.
‘They need to deal with them rather than just throwing in the towel.
‘If they can’t deal with 7-year-olds, how can they deal with 17-year-olds?’
Ficker said that he intends to file exceptions to Nussbaum’s report to the local school asking them to rescind the suspension.
If they don’t, he will file to the state school board.
If that fails, they will take the case to court.
‘I don’t see why this child should be branded in this way,’ Ficker said.