Opinion

March 6, 2013

Charles Oliver: An overreaction to Pop-Tart ‘art’

• Officials at Maryland’s Park Elementary School suspended Josh Welch, 7, for biting his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun. Well, they say it was a gun. Josh insists he was trying to make it look like a mountain. In any event, according to a letter they sent home to parents, he “used food to make an inappropriate gesture.” That letter also informed parents that counselors were available to any students troubled by the event.

• In Ambridge, Pa., a receptionist at a local dentist’s office called Travis Clawson to remind him of an appointment. She got his voice mail, which seemed to say something about shooting at a school, so she called police. In turn, they called the local schools and had them all locked down. Police finally found Clawson, at school, hauled him out at gun point and searched his locker. They didn’t find any weapons, but they did discover that his phone’s voice mail message has the theme song from the TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” which contains the line “shooting some b-ball outside the school.”

• Four years ago, the Oregon Legislature created a databank to track drugs filled by pharmacies in that state. The databank was supposed to help doctors and pharmacists spot signs of drug abuse and help prevent overdoses, so lawmakers mandated that law enforcement could not access the databank without a warrant. But the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) believes that law does not apply to it. It has repeatedly filed administrative subpoenas, which do not require a judge to find probable cause, to access the databank. The state has now taken the DEA to court to require it to obtain warrants if it wants to access the databank.

• Parents of some children at Colorado’s Mission Viejo Elementary School were outraged to receive a letter from Principal Andre Pearson telling them that whites would not be allowed in a new after-school tutoring program. When local media asked about the program, Pearson refused to talk. But a district spokesman said the principal had made a mistake and the program would be open to all students.

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