OKLAHOMA CITY – One Oklahoma State Representative is starting the New Year out with a bang and a controversial bill.
It’s called the “Common Sense, Zero Tolerance Act” and would give students the right to bring toy weapons to school without getting into trouble.
Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern said, “Children are children, let them be children.”
Rep. Kern said there are three reasons why she’s proposing this bill that would let kids play cops and robbers with toy guns at school.
She said, “My intent is to protect children, protect families and to not criminalize childhood behavior.”
There are eight points to the act, like allowing students to make gun noises or draw pictures of weapons without facing repercussions.
Kern said, “Why do we have to wait until some child is traumatized, some parent has to deal with this issue to do something to protect children and their families?”
If the bill passes, students would not get in trouble for using their hand or finger in a gun motion or using a pen or pencil in reference to a weapon.
Also, students could not be punished in any way for reasons like having toy weapons five inches or less made of plastic, wood or snap-together building blocks.
Another peculiar point in the bill talks about pastries and food in the shape of a weapon.
This follows an incident in Baltimore where a grade school student was suspended for shaping his Pop-Tart into a gun at school.
Linda Hampton, president of the Oklahoma Education Association, said, “I think we have so many more important things we need to deal with this legislative session.”
For Hampton, she said any incident involving a child and a questionable situation should be dealt with by the educators on a case by case basis.
Hampton said, “I fully trust Oklahoma teachers, the administrators, the counselors to decide and use a common sense approach to decide what’s happening in a school.”
This bill has already caused some people to get fired up.
However, Kern says she hopes to draw a line between play and aggression.
She said, “Every real threat, every real intention and every real weapon needs to be dealt with immediately.”
If passed, the act would become a law by July 1.