Tag Archives: Pop Tarts

Suspicious Pop-Tart guns versus scientific suitcase clocks

Originally posted on American Thinker

In an effort to assuage what is perceived to be the fragile sensibilities of Muslim-Americans, Barack Obama has once again bowed to political correctness by extending his usual partiality toward an individual based solely on skin color and religion.

This time, the person at the center of the controversy is Ahmed Mohamed.  Ahmed is the 14-year-old Sudanese-American aspiring clockmaker who has proven to be bright enough to impress his teachers with his engineering prowess – but apparently not bright enough to know that bringing a homemade digital clock to school with wires snaking out of it, stored inside a suitcase (or briefcase, if you will), isn’t a good idea.

As it turns out, Ahmed is also the son of Sufi Dallas imam Mohamed Elhassan, who once ran for the presidency in Sudan on the platform that, if elected, he would lift sanctions the U.S. imposed on Sudan in the late 1990s because of that nation’s alleged sponsorship of terrorism.  Mr. Elhassan was also embroiled in controversy when he acted as a defense attorney on behalf of the Quran when Florida Pastor Terry Jones threatened to burn the Islamic holy book.

Mohamed Elhassan, who calls himself a sheik, now has a son who in his own right has become an overnight social media sensation by managing to register on Barack Obama’s racial injustice radar.

Despite young Ahmed being treated more respectfully than other children half his age who’ve been punished for doing things far less alarming than bringing a suitcase clock to class, in reaction to the school taking routine precautions concerning Ahmed’s science project, the Mohamed family is accusing the Irving, Texas school district of Islamophobia.

One would think that since immigration has swelled the Muslim population in America to 6.2 million, the Mohameds would understand that because Ahmed is one of millions of Allah-loving students presently occupying desks in America’s classrooms, reprimanding their son doesn’t mean he’s being profiled.

Nonetheless, unlike in the case of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who also had an affinity for wiring up and transporting household items, being a Muslim with a digital clock in a suitcase has served Ahmed well.

For starters, Obama, who still hasn’t contacted Kate Steinle’s parents since their daughter was murdered by an illegal alien and felon in San Francisco, tweeted kudos to the studious teen.  In the tweet, the would-be horologist got an invitation to bring the ticking timepiece to the same White House that goes into lockdown over suspicious-looking coffee cups.

Above clock-making, Ahmed is being celebrated for his interest in science.  As a matter of fact, in his laudatory tweet, President Obama, who also inspires young Iranians to take an interest in nuclear science, commended Mohamed for his technical expertise by implying that kids making clocks that look like suitcase bombs exemplify “what makes America great.”

In addition to Obama’s invite, Ahmed also got a “like” from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg, was offered an internship at Twitter, and, after being pictured wearing a NASA t-shirt, was offered a summer scholarship at Space Camp USA in Alabama.

However, what this love fest has yet to reveal is how an all-American kid like Ahmed’s detention for bringing a suspicious-looking suitcase to school may have successfully paved the way for children with Muslim-sounding names to avoid being questioned if, in the future, they too decide to pack a “cool clock” or a pressure cooker into their backpacks.

Moreover, if liking science is an indicator of inspirational greatness, one can’t help but wonder why the president never commended young Josh Welch of Baltimore, Maryland for his exciting artistic expression.

Instead, Josh, the seven-year-old who maintained that his Pop-Tart “gun” was just an attempt to fashion a breakfast food into a mountain range, was suspended from school for two days because, instead of the Grand Tetons, Josh’s creation resembled something that looked like a Glock 19.

If only Josh had made a clock that looked like a Glock, President Obama might have invited him to the White House, too!

Not likely.

Then there’s six-year-old Rodney Lynch, also from Maryland.  In 2013, around the time of his run-in with the law, Rodney was a big fan of cartoons.  Seems the imaginative Mr. Lynch positioned his thumb and index finger into the shape of an “L.”  Rodney’s design did not say “tick-tock” like Ahmed’s, but after molding his fingers into a gun, the tyke was heard uttering the word “Pow!”  For that, and to ensure the school’s “sense of safety and security,” Rodney was suspended for a day and has yet to receive a tweet from the president.

There’s also the case of the five-year-old Pennsylvania girl who, in a debate at the bus stop, insisted that princess bubble-blowers are superior to Hello Kitty bubble guns.

When the princess bubble-blower girl suggested that the two friends test their claims by shooting each other with soapsuds, the barely-out-of-diapers five-year-old was accused of making a “terrorist threat,” mandated to attend counseling sessions with a therapist, and suspended for 10 days.

In 2009, an 11-year-old student was arrested, thrown in jail, and charged with a third-degree felony for bringing a plastic butter knife to school.  That same year, an eight-year-old Massachusetts boy was mandated to have psychological counseling for drawing a picture of Jesus on the cross while in school.

Not so with Ahmed.  After toting a homemade clock that looked like a suitcase bomb to school, the kid is a national hero, and the Irving Independent School District is under fire for investigating the digital clock in a suitcase as a potential threat.

What ever happened to the Janet Napolitano-coined DHS motto “If you see something, say something?”

At the end of the day, this isn’t about a presidential tweet or whether the authorities discriminated against a Muslim kid with an interest in science.  The crux of the issue here is why schools’ “zero tolerance” safety policy suddenly has two different standards.  Why, in the midst of the War on Terror, should a 14-year-old boy of Middle Eastern descent bringing a ticking circuit board to school in a metal suitcase be exempted from scrutiny?

Pretend-gun Fingers and Plop-Tarts

Getty_020713_KidPlayingGunsOriginally posted at American Thinker

Republican state Senator J. B. Jennings of Maryland is proposing a bill to protect Pop-Tart gun-makers and students who emulate President Obama, a man notorious for flashing around his pretend-gun finger, from being suspended from school. The goal of the bill is to keep children in class who are caught on school grounds aiming, chomping or sketching anything that even remotely resembles a gun.

Jennings feels that if a student points in a style that resembles the shape of a gun, or quite by accident bites a bologna sandwich in a way that causes the lunch lady to panic in fear for her life, before administering the harsh sentence of suspension the situation should be evaluated as to whether the sandwich-eating was done in a manner that suggests “intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm.”

In the state of Maryland, second-grader Joshua Welch and 6-year-old Rodney Lynch were both reprimanded for gun facsimile-related misconduct. Joshua was ousted after he haphazardly gnawed his Pop-Tart into a shape that his teacher felt resembled a gun, and first-time offender Rodney Lynch, who lost his head and positioned his thumb and index finger into the shape of an ‘L,’ got snagged too, which resulted in a two-day suspension for both of the pint-sized miscreants.

Senator Jennings says that it is not his intent for his bill to become “part of the growing gun debate in Maryland,” but hopes it will bring some “commonsense discipline to state schools.” Wait! Jennings wants to introduce common sense to politically-correct public school educators? Is that even possible?

As Senator J.B. points out, “These kids are 6 or 7-years-old. They don’t understand what they’re doing.” The larger question here, Mr. Senator, is this: Did Joshua and Rodney’s accusers know what they were doing when they all but ran screaming from the building over a half-eaten Pop-Tart and two fingers positioned at a 90-degree angle?

Nonetheless, the bill the Maryland senator is proposing aims to halt the preposterous practice of hyper-vigilant school administrators suspending first- and second-graders willy-nilly for making anything out of anything that even remotely resembles a handgun.

According to the senator, “If it’s done in a violent manner, then yes, we can take it to the next level. We can look at suspension.” Just out of curiosity, what would be considered violent Pop-Tart eating? Telling the kids on the schoolyard that you slurped the strawberry filling out from the center, like Hannibal Lecter telling Clarice Starling that he ate the liver of a census taker with some fava beans and “a nice Chianti?”

Moreover, maybe no one noticed this, but just the name “Pop-Tart” makes one think of the violence-inducing cereal that shall remain nameless that encourages violent behavior in the style of ‘snap’ your neck, ‘crack’ a few kneecaps, and ‘pop’ you in the lip.Not to mention that favorite of comic strip character Calvin and Hobbes — “chocolate frosted sugar bombs.”

Maybe Jennings could up the ante by including an addendum to the bill that, henceforth and in perpetuity, at least in the state of Maryland, “Pop-Tarts” must be referred in kinder, gentler terms as “Plop-Tarts.”

Either way, the senator said he was inspired to propose the bill after receiving calls from anxious parents fearing that suspension from elementary school has the potential to blemish a child’s academic future. For most Americans, unlike Barack Obama, school transcripts are part of the public record.

Therefore, children who have no plans to run for president could be thwarted from moving ahead in life for doing things like: playing cops-and-robbers with a banana, pointing a recorder at another student in an intimidating way, or indiscriminately screaming ‘bombs away’ when playing kickball. Currently, those types of behaviors are closely monitored to ensure that school officials can recognize and impede a potential Adam Lanza, James Holmes, or Jared Loughner.

If the senator’s bill does pass and a deaf preschooler is hauled off for sharing his name in sign language during class or an aspiring cartographer traces the shape of Florida on the cover of a notebook, the first response would not be suspension, but a stop at a counselor’s office. If, while being psychologically evaluated, the child is deemed a menace to both school and society for strange finger movements or artistic expression that depicts evil intent, a decision will be made as to how to deal with the dangerous delinquent.

In the meantime, J.B. Jennings says the Senate bill 1058 is heading to the Education Committee, where educators who suspend small children for things like overdoing it with the red finger paint during art class will vote on the merits of the bill. If the educational community passes “The Reasonable School Discipline Act of 2013,” which some have coined “Toaster Pastry Gun Freedom Act,” it will go from committee to the Senate for a vote.

Until then, for parents with children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder whose fingers show signs of having impulse control problems, do yourself a favor and duct-tape their little thumbs to their forefingers and pack anything for breakfast except a “Plop-Tart.”

The Terror Threat from Pop-Tarts and Hello Kitty

tumblr_inline_mj1rwhe3vR1qz4rgpOriginally posted at American Thinker blog

A few months ago, a five-year-old Pennsylvania girl was standing at a bus stop talking to her friend when she made the mistake of insisting a princess bubble blower is superior to a Hello Kitty Bubble gun.  The little girl suggested to her bus mate, “I’ll shoot you, you shoot me and we’ll all play together.”  That conversation resulted in the kindergartener that made the suggestion being reprimanded in the principal’s office, suspended for 10 days for making a “terrorist threat,” and mandated into a series of counseling sessions with a therapist.

Now we come to find out that a seven-year-old aspiring artist from Baltimore, Maryland, Josh Welch, is in need of some serious Pop-Tart-eating redirection.  Seems Josh, who suffers from ADHD, was being creative with what was at hand and tried to sculpt his strawberry breakfast Pop-Tart “into a mountain” with his teeth.  Josh’s venture into carving territory is what got him a two-day suspension from Park Elementary School, because from his teacher’s perspective the Pop-Tart resembled a gun.

Josh said, “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 but it wasn’t.” Young Josh explained, “All I was trying to do was turn it into a mountain but, it didn’t look like a mountain really and it turned out to be a gun kinda.”  In due time, Josh will find out that it’s all in the turning-while-biting action, which takes practice.

Josh learned the hard way that art can be like that. A burgeoning artiste starts out wanting to nibble a mountain into existence and suddenly, with a badly planned bite here or there, what started out as a peaceful depiction of nature suddenly turns into a strawberry-filled weapon.  Fortunately, Josh wasn’t attempting to fashion a ‘7’ or an ‘L’ out of the Pop-Tart, because those two shapes look too much like a gun and could not have been as easily explained away as a Pop-Tart mountain.

One thing is for certain: while Josh may not be all that good at sculpting mountains out of Pop-Tarts, he sure is spot-on when it comes to discerning the mood of his teacher, because both he and his Pop-Tart were suspended from school for two days.

Think of it – poor Josh was just eating his breakfast when he was suddenly overwhelmed with a burst of spontaneous artistic inspiration. Then, midway through the effort, for some reason Josh looked up after chewing away half of his breakfast pastry and his eyes met his teacher’s.  Josh said that his first thought at that point was: “She was pretty mad…and I think I was in big trouble.”  The rattled educator, looking out for the wellbeing of her other charges, said she ‘thought’ she overheard Welch saying, “bang bang” while holding the repurposed Pop-Tart.

The tart was confiscated and Josh was promptly extricated from school premises.  To quell any hysteria, a letter was sent home to concerned parents explaining the unsettling Pop-Tart incident.  The letter explained that it all started when the teacher thought she saw Josh shaping his Pop-Tart into a gun, and ended when she determined that the second-grader “[u]sed food to make an inappropriate gesture.”

After collecting his son, Josh’s dad said he was surprised the school chose such a severe sentence, especially because no one was hurt by the Pop-Tart.  It’s not like little Josh bludgeoned a classmate with a half-eaten slice of pizza he chewed into a hatchet, or tried to drown some kid in a puddle of low-fat milk, or even threatened to shoot a friend with a princess bubble blower.

After the big to-do, Mr. Welch the younger said he wanted only to return to school, and joked that thanks to the mountain/pistol incident, “I didn’t get to eat all my breakfast, so, really I am still hungry.”  Hopefully, after all this trouble Josh has learned not to use baby carrots for bullets, spaghetti as a whip, or pretzel sticks for swords and stick to just using condoms for water balloons.

Josh Welch’s father said of suspending a seven-year-old for brandishing a Pop-Tart, “I would almost call it insanity.” Almost insanity?  Not calling it insanity would be insanity. Mr. Welch rightly pointed out, “I mean with all the potential issues that could be dealt with at school, real threats, bullies, whatever the real issue is, it’s a pastry…Ya know?”  Yeah, we know.

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