GOP Bill Would Block Federal Funding To Schools That Ban Imaginary Guns

A Republican congressman introduced legislation this week that would block federal dollars from going to schools that prohibit students from playing with imaginary weapons.

Introduced by Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), the Student Protection Act says that schools’ zero-tolerance policies are being used to outlaw “harmless expressions of childhood play” and teach students to be “afraid of inanimate objects that are shaped like guns.” It cites several examples of students being disciplined at schools for seemingly innocuous uses of imaginary weapons, including a 7-year-old Colorado student who was suspended for throwing an imaginary hand grenade.

The bill provides a list of activities that would be grounds for cutting federal funding. Among the activities: “brandishing a pastry or other food which is partially consumed in such a way that the remnant resembles a gun,” “using a finger or hand to simulate a gun” and “sing a pencil, pen or other writing utensil to simulate a firearm.”

The pastry addition comes in response to a Maryland student who was suspended for partially eating a Pop Tart to make it look like a gun.

The introduction of this bill was first reported by The Hill.

[Image via Shutterstock / Moving Moment]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Perry is a News Writer for Talking Points Memo based in Washington D.C. Prior to TPM, she was a reporter-research at The New Republic and worked for her hometown paper, The Miami Herald. Perry can be reached at perry@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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