'Pop-tart bill' clears Florida Senate Education Committee - FOX 35 News Orlando

'Pop-tart bill' clears Florida Senate Education Committee

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ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

The Florida Senate Education Committee on Tuesday passed the so-called "Pop-Tart bill" that's meant to keep children from getting in trouble at school for pointing a finger or something else in the likeness of a gun.

Supporters say it's a response to overly zealous zero tolerance conduct policies in our schools.

It's called the Pop-Tart bill because of an incident at a Maryland school one year ago.  Seven-year-old Josh Welch was suspended from school after chewing his strawberry Pop-Tart into the shape of a hand gun.

In Osceola County last October, 8-year-old Jordan Bennett got in trouble at school for using his fingers to simulate a gun while playing cops and robbers. 

State Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, is on the committee that passed the bill.  He told us over the phone that this is about common sense.

"It's important that we have a return of common sense to the way administrators deal with children," Sen. Simmons said.

Gun owners we talked to support the bill.  

"I think it's good," said Andrew Sanford, of Winter Springs.  "I think it's kind of ridiculous to get kids in trouble over playing cops and robbers."

The measure is strongly supported by the National Rifle Association.  Some critics oppose the bill's language which protects students from punishment if they wear a shirt with a gun on it or if they express their opinions in school about their constitutional right to have guns.

"It's unfortunate that there are a group of people who believe that the Second Amendment should not be enforced," said Sen. Simmons.  "Those people need to quit what they are doing in trying to distort the Second Amendment."
     
The Florida House of Representatives passed its version of the Pop-tart bill last week.  If it becomes law, Florida would be the first state to spell out what is children's play and not real danger in our schools. 

The NRA is backing similar bills in Ohio and Oklahoma.

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