An 8-year-old Maryland boy got a standing ovation and a lifetime membership to the National Rifle Association after being suspended from school for gnawing a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun.
At a Wednesday night fund-raiser for local Republicans, state legislator Nicholaus Kipke presented Josh Welch with the membership, which cost $550.
The boy, who was 7 at the time, was suspended March 1 from Park Elementary School in Anne Arundel County after school officials said he chewed a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun.
Welch said he was actually trying to duplicate the shape of a mountain, which figured prominently in a recent drawing he made.
“I was embarrassed that my county would do that to him,” said Kipke, leader of the Republican minority in the lower house of the Maryland legislature.
Welch was much more low key, preferring to play games on a cell phone during Wednesday’s function.
“Everyone keeps asking me why I did it,” he said. “I don’t know why I did it … I wish people would stop asking me about it. It’ll probably go on for 45 years or something.”
The boy’s lawyer, Robin Ficker, said he is appealing the two-day school suspension.
In the appeal, Ficker included pictures of the states of Idaho and Florida because “they look more like guns than Josh’s Pop-Tart.”
Anne Arundel County Public Schools spokesman Bob Mosier declined to comment on the status of the appeal, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Ficker said the NRA membership gift was a great idea because the boy “is a good kid, a little rambunctious.”