Proposed 'Common Sense' Zero Tolerance Act Draws Concerns - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Proposed 'Common Sense' Zero Tolerance Act Draws Concerns

Posted: Updated:
"If there's no real intent, there's no real threat, no real weapon, no real harm is occurring or going to occur, why in the world are we in a sense abusing our children like this," said Oklahoma Republican, Sally Kern. "If there's no real intent, there's no real threat, no real weapon, no real harm is occurring or going to occur, why in the world are we in a sense abusing our children like this," said Oklahoma Republican, Sally Kern.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

A proposed law that would ease school rules when it comes to fake weapons is causing a stir.

It's called the "Common Sense Zero Tolerance Act" and the bill's author says it will protect children in school.

"Real intent, real threats and real weapons should always be dealt with immediately. We need to stop criminalizing children's imagination and childhood play," explained Sally Kern, Republican from Oklahoma City.

"If there's no real intent, there's no real threat, no real weapon, no real harm is occurring or going to occur, why in the world are we in a sense abusing our children like this."

Kern authored the bill after hearing about incidents in other states where students faced harsh punishments for incidents involving fake weapons. She said some school administrators just have not used common sense, such as with the 2nd grader from Maryland who was suspended for chewing his pastry into the shape of a gun.

House Bill 2351 states schools shall not "punish, humiliate, intimidate, be condescending to, or bully a student" who has "possession of a toy weapon."

It also prevents schools from punishing students "using a finger or hand to simulate at weapon," "vocalizing imaginary firearms" or "drawing a picture of a firearm." But the Oklahoma Education Association isn't on board with Kern's proposed law.

"I fully trust Oklahoma educators to handle student discipline in an appropriate case-by-case manner. The proposed legislation removes local control from teachers, counselors, administrators and local school boards. Educators are degreed professionals, trained and experienced in dealing with children," explained O.E.A President Linda Hampton.

"With our state facing so many critical issues in public education, Oklahoma Legislators should be focusing on school funding, excessive testing and overcrowded classrooms. The focus should not be on removing a teacher's ability to use common sense, local policies and their professional training when dealing with student discipline."

Kern said if there is no real gun on school property, there is no harm done. She added that as a former educator she can understand why teachers sometimes err on the side of caution and overreact to these situations because they are being asked to do so much and do not want to risk losing s job.

If the bill passes, it will go into effect on July 1 because Kern attached an emergency clause to the bill.

Special Features

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Mobile Alerts

Get breaking news, headlines, weather alerts & more on your cell phone.

Radars

See where weather is happening using our live interactive radars.

Classifieds

Use our free classifieds to find the things you need or sell your items.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

ESP Interactive
Powered by WorldNow
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
TULSA'S OWN TM
GREEN COUNTRY'S OWN TM
Oklahoma's Own Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state including Tulsa's Own and Green Country's Own.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014, WorldNow and KOTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.