The Washington Times - July 11, 2013, 10:20AM

The Lone Star State lawmaker who raffled off a Bushmaster AR-15 personal defense rifle over July Fourth also is taking on school officials who punish exuberant children for playing cops and robbers at recess.

“In response to a recent wave of school authorities punishing children for innocent expression, I have introduced H.R. 2625, the ‘Student Protection Act.’ Too often so-called zero tolerance policies are being abused by school authorities to punish children for innocent play or, worse, try to indoctrinate them to be terrified of anything even shaped like a gun,”says Rep. Steve Stockman.

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In recent days, children have been disciplined for pointing a pencil like a firearm or brandishing a bubble gun, Nerf pitching gun, an empty cap gun and Legos formed into a gun shape. Josh Welch, 7, was suspended from a Maryland elementary school for nibbling his Pop Tart breakfast pastry into a gunlike form. The school later offered counseling for students who might be “troubled by the incident.”

Young Josh and his attorney are still tying to get his school record expunged.

“Instead of nurturing young minds these policies are traumatizing children who did nothing wrong or instilling in them irrational fears. Why are taxpayer dollars being spent to subsidize this insanity?” the Texas Republican demands.

“Schools should be places where children learn. Punishing children for playing cops and robbers or taking a bite out of a Pop-Tart that makes it somewhat resemble a gun is not healthy for children. Something must be done to restore sanity to the schoolroom. The Student Protection Act would end the practice of using federal taxpayer dollars to subsidize schools that enforce these policies that abuse and harm young children,” Mr. Stockman says.