Try this for dessert—something that’s hard and not very tasty. Something that breaks and crumbles when you try to eat it.
The state senate has voted to make it the official state dessert. It’s the ice cream cone. There’s no discussion of the ice cream itself, just the cone.
As long as there are fourth-graders, it appears likely there will be more official symbols of the state. But some lawmakers no longer think the idea is cute.
The Senate has passed the bill because some fourth-graders in Senator John Loudon’s district thought they’d learn how the legislature works by having him sponsor the bill. He admits initial misgivings but says they made their case to him. So he decided to offer the bill.
One thing he did not say during Senate debate is that having an official state dessert is a good idea. One other Senator, Wes Shoemeyer, says he initially told one of the students that his "pie people" would be upset with him if he voted for the bill. But he says the student was persuasive.
Why the ice cream cone? Supposedly it originated at the 1904 St.Louis World’s Fair. But a patent was issued to a New York man for pastry cups to hold ice cream in 1903 and an engraving shows a woman eating ice cream from a cone in Paris as early as 1807.
Farmington Senator Kevin Engler is fed up with teachers thinking it’s a good teaching idea to come up with new state symbols and have their students convince lawmakers to pass a bill for them. "These things are stupid," he has told the Senate.
He argues the legislature is not a teaching tool for fourth graders…and that it demeans itself by creating new state symbols when it should be addressing instead of doing things of importance.
He and some other senators say it might be time for fourth-graders to learn some other things about the legislature—such as filibuster and defeat.
But if this group of students is going to learn that part of the legislative process, it will have to learn it from the House.
If the House adopts the ice cream cone as the official state dessert, the Governor will be asked to signthe bill creating the state’s 25th state symbol. \
Last year, the state added four new symbols, three of them at the behest of school children. Four of the last five symbols have been added as learning experiences for school children. Missouri has added half of its state symbols during the last decade.