7-Year-Old Suspended For Carrying Unlicensed Pop Tart: Update

Artist's conception of what Josh Welch will look like when 20
Artist’s conception of what Josh Welch will look like when 20
Did you feel it? The latest lurch towards insanity happened in Baltimore, where seven-year-old Josh Welch was suspended from school for eating a Pop Tart.

Turns out he bit off just the right portions of the popular breakfast pastry so as to shape it into a shiv, which he had planned on sticking into the kidney of Bradly Peters, 7, a classmate who had earlier taunted Welch at recess. Welch later admitted to police that he hit upon the idea after a biology lecture on the digestive system. He thought the Pop Tart would dissolve in Peters’s gut so that no murder weapon would be found. This demonstrates the dangers of an incomplete education.

Just kidding! In a fit of artistic creativity, he actually tried to make the Pop Tart resemble the side of a mountain. But a quick-thinking professional educator—schools don’t have teachers anymore—knew the pastry for what it was. A gun!

She—the sex of the educator is a guess, but I’m willing to take bets—knew just what to do. Panic hysterically. She dragged young Josh to the principal’s office, where (we can guess) the pair commenced wringing their hands manically. What to do! What to do!

There was only one course of action. Kick the young offender out and suspend him.

You may say this was an overreaction. Not so. Allow if-you-squint-gun-shaped Pop Tarts, the next thing you’ll find is lollipop-stick spittle-tipped arrows, fudgesicle-stick bombs (these are real, incidentally), banana skin booby traps (tee hee), chocolate-milk boarding, and licorice whips. Anarchy. Why, kids might even fill in the holes of donuts!

The school where the educator and asthmatic principal reside is being bombarded with emails and phone calls. You know what will happen. They’ll issue a statement denying culpability, hinting of dark motivations, of blood-covered slippery slopes. Sandy Hook! Columbine! The words “important”, “zero-tolerance”, and “safe” and “safety” will be repeated often.

The citizenry will vent, but the educators won’t budge. Parents, ever cautious, will tell their kiddies not to make anything even vaguely representing weaponry. Better to frighten them lest they commit and offense.

Despair over the inevitable is for suckers and weaklings. Might as well try to find what enjoyment there is while you remind yourself that it will all soon be over, that your time on this planet is limited.

Update Any wonder our kids emerge from school stunted? “A Florida high school student wrestled a loaded gun away from another teen on the bus ride home this week and was slapped with a suspension in return…The school’s referral slip said he was given an ’emergency suspension’ for being involved in an ‘incident’ with a weapon.”


  1. DAV

    The people up that way are sometimes called Balti-morons. Perhaps there’s a reason.

  2. MattS

    “The words “important”, “zero-tolerance”, and “safe” and “safety” will be repeated often.”

    My reply to them would be a paraphrase from Princess Bride. You keep saying those words, I do not think that they mean what you think they mean.

  3. Forget the shape–these things are full of SUGAR. Evil, horrible sugar. Why is no one calling the school and demanding the pop tarts be replaced with vegetable chips (baked ones, of course)???


  4. Ray

    When I was in college the education majors were famous for being the dumbest kids in school. The psycology majors were the most screwed up mentally.

  5. Noblesse Oblige

    The Baltimore school system is so effective and so highly regarded worldwide that it must takes steps to protect its efficiency and its reputation.

  6. Katie

    This incident illustrates the folly of the current idea to expand public education to the barely-out-of-pampers set. To expose 3- and 4- year-olds to a snack tray without prior and exhaustive instruction on appropriate “food handling” is just asking for trouble. Perhaps the idea of having armed guards in schools is not so crazy after all.

  7. MattS


    Quite right, an armed guard could have protected Josh by showing the overwrought teacher a real gun (for comparison purposes only, honest).

  8. What actually happened (maybe) is that the kid in question bit the corner off a pop-tart and then, holding it like a gun, ran around the room squirting fake jam onto the clothes of his fellow students. If I had to control a class where that was happening I’d send him to the principal too – and hopefully before half a dozen copycats started doing the same thing. I can be pretty sure that this is what happened because the moment I read the words “pop-tart” and “gun” in the same sentence, the little boy in me had an almost irresistable urge to try it – but sadly no pop-tarts were available.

  9. MattS

    Alan Cooper,

    There wouldn’t be enough jam in a pop tart for more than one or two shots and even then, the open edges would mostly be pointed at your own fingers, so your idea is impractical at best.

    If you read the linked examiner article in the main article it makes it fairly clear that the teacher intervened before the kid had any chance to use the pop tart as a toy gun even if that had been his intent.

  10. Mike Johnson

    But MattS, what if he had one of those evil, high capacity assault pop tarts?

  11. Matt

    Mike Johnson,

    The differences between an assault pop tart and a standard semi-auto pop tart are purely cosmetic and don’t affect functionality of the pop tart.

  12. Eric Anderson

    Just this morning I ate two pop tarts. Didn’t even cross my mind that they could be used as a weapon. Deadly to my midline, yes, but not really a weapon. What am I going to do, force someone to eat one? No kid has to be forced to eat one, as they are so very tasty.

    The real “weapons” in Pop Tarts are the calories, the sugar, and the utter lack of nutrition. If I wanted to use them as a weapon (a slow but deadly weapon) I’d have better luck if I parked next to the school in an unmarked van and then when the kids started walking home after school, pulling slowly alongside an unsuspecting youngster and whispering in a low, raspy voice: “Hey, kid. Wanna Pop Tart?”

  13. Steve E

    Regarding the update:
    “…The school’s referral slip said he was given an ‘emergency suspension’ for being involved in an ‘incident’ with a weapon.”

    Given this logic, one can only imagine that if the intended victim had been shot he/she too would have been given an ’emergency suspension’ for being involved in an ‘incident’ with a weapon regardless of whether he/she had survived the attack.

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