Six Year Old Labeled Sexual Harasser For Kissing Classmate

Boy Kissing Girl

A Colorado television station is reporting that a six year old boy has been suspended from school for kissing a female classmate on the cheek:

A six year old boy is suspended from school in Canon City for kissing a classmate on the cheek

His mother says it’s a crush and the tOrwo children like each other. But the school is calling it something else; sexual harassment.

First grader, Hunter Yelton, told us he loves science and phys-ed. Also…that he has a crush on a girl at school, who likes him back.

It may sound innocent enough…but at six years old Hunter now has ‘sexual harassment’ on his school record.

“It was during class yeah. We were doing reading group and I leaned over and kissed her on the hand. That’s what happened,” said Hunter Yelton.

Six year old Hunter was at home on Monday instead of at school.

“They sent me to the office, fair and square. I did something wrong and I feel sorry,” he said.

“She was fine with it, they are ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’. The other children saw it and went to the music teacher. That was the day I had the meeting with the principal, where she first said ‘sexual harassment’. This is taking it to an extreme that doesn’t need to be met with a six year old. Now my son is asking questions… what is sex mommy? That should not ever be said, sex. Not in a sentence with a six year old,” said Hunters’ mom, Jennifer Saunders.

Both hunter and his mom, Jennifer, admit he’s had some trouble at school in the past. Hunter has been suspended for rough-housing, and for kissing the same girl on the cheek.

“We’ve been working with him with the classroom disruption. He was grounded for awhile. Big restrictions,” said Saunders.

Report Bonnie Silkman asks Hunter, “Are you trying to be good at school? Hunter replies, “Yes…I have a lot of energy. I mean six year olds. They have a lot of energy.”

The superintendent at School District RE-1, says any school record remains within the district. And Hunters’ actions fit the school policy description of ‘sexual harassment’

As you can see, it’s unclear if the suspension relates to the recent incident of kissing the girl on the hand, the previous incident of kissing her on the cheek, or a combination of both. Additionally, as is usually the case with stories like this it’s worthwhile to take initial reports with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, while I understand and agree with the idea that order needs to be maintained in the classroom even at the First Grade level. Nonetheless, labeling this “sexual harassment” and suspending the boy strikes me as more than just a little bit extreme under the circumstances. Or am I missing something here?

H/T: Vodkapundit

Photo via Geuga News

FILED UNDER: Education, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Rob in CT says:

    1. Just guessing, but this might be another in the long list of media fauxrage stories.
    2. Georgie Porgie, Pudding ‘N Pie kissed the girls and made them cry…

  2. C. Clavin says:

    I’ve got $20 that says the Principal is a Republican…and an evangelical.
    (neither of those groups likes sex)

  3. CB says:

    Is it sexual harrassment if you don’t know what sex is yet?

  4. Tillman says:

    My few memories of grade school romance indicate what that kid did is on par with oral sex for a high schooler.

    You gotta remember, this is the age of cooties. Gender-based contempt runs both ways. “Battle of the sexes” actually means something. So, really, oral sex between a Capulet and a Montague.

    Honestly, I don’t think a sexual harassment mark on an elementary school record means crap. He doesn’t have the hormones to give it that sinister, perverted edge.

  5. KM says:

    Ah this takes me back…. in kindergarten, the teacher’s son used to sneak around at naptime and give the girls kisses to see the faces we’d make. One time, I sat up just as he came up to my mat and I punched in right in the nose before he could kiss me. He ran crying to his mother who flat out told him he was being a little perv. He went on to be the Casanova of our school.

    I don’t have a problem with little kids and kisses. It takes a sick mind to ascribe adult desires to children’s affections. The problem is when you have to write the rules in such a way that things like this happen. Is there no room for discretion?

    Also, sounds like Hunter just likes being disruptive/rambunctious in school. Maybe they should work on that instead of slapping labels.

  6. Mikey says:

    Ascribing adult motives to a child’s actions is inane, and therefore so is the school’s action.

  7. PJ says:

    His mother probably let him play GTA V and watch Game of Thrones!

  8. JKB says:

    Back in my day, you had to wait until high school before you figured out your teachers were morons. Like your parents. Now the educational staff are eager to show themselves.

    But these days we have to ask, are the teachers and administrators involved in this incident acting because they fear this child or is it because he wouldn’t kiss them? Can’t be sure these days.

    But let us look at this incident. He kissed a girl, who welcomed the attention, on the hand. Where is the sexual? Where is the harassment? And given this logic, along with the new acceptance of all various of sexual orientations, if he kissed his own hand, is that sexual harassment? If he puts his hand in his pocket, is that sexual abuse?

    There have been cases of teenage girls who posted selfies online being charged with the delinquency of a minor, themselves.

  9. JKB says:

    @Mikey:

    You forget, Mikey, as per the Obama education department, all kindergartners are now made aware of the full spectrum of sexuality. Failure to have the lesson is no excuse before the law of stupid “educators”

  10. Franklin says:

    Regardless of whether this particular story is being portrayed accurately, we’re going WAY too far in this direction. There are schools that have banned hugging. Yes, I understand why, and the reasoning is extremely weak. Surely people are aware that humans have evolved to enjoy the touch of other humans (in fact this desire was evolved way before there were humans)? And that studies have shown that boys who are rarely touched become more violent? Seriously, everybody really does need a hug.

  11. Mikey says:

    @JKB: Yeah, that doesn’t happen.

  12. C. Clavin says:

    Apparently Lamar Alexander’s Aide (Republican-Tennessee) is following this story very closely.

  13. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:

    Back in my day, you had to wait until high school before you figured out your teachers were morons.

    That’s because you are slow.

  14. Franklin says:

    Wow, a full 10 posts before someone blamed this on Obama. Possibly a new record.

  15. C. Clavin says:

    @Franklin:
    Yeah…but even then it was JKB…so it doesn’t really count.

  16. CSK says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Twenty bucks, please. Tammy L. DeWolfe, the school principal, is a registered Democrat. 😀

  17. C. Clavin says:

    @CSK:
    Alrighty then…Your bitcoin is in the mail.

  18. beth says:

    There’s probably much more to this story than can be reported. The school is bound by confidentiality so they can’t say much so we only get to hear the student’s (or in this case, his parent’s) side of the story. Sounds like the kid’s been a problem for a while – they may have to give his behavior a label in order to suspend him. There was a case here where they suspended a girl for racial statements posted on Facebook against a classmate and her lawyer found a way to void the suspension over a technicality based on what the school called it.

    But I agree that the school should have other options instead of having to label a 6 year old a sexual harasser.

  19. CSK says:

    @C. Clavin:

    A certified check will do nicely, thank you.

    Seriously, this is idiotic–and damaging. I have no way of knowing, but Hunter seems like a bright kid. The thing about smart kids is that you can do business with them if you explain, in a straightforward manner, why some behavior might be inappropriate at certain times and in certain situations. When my 2-year-old nephew decided he wanted to drive his grandfather’s car, I told him that this was inadvisable till he was tall enough to see over the dashboard. He was cool with that.

  20. beth says:

    @CSK: The fact that the article does say that Hunter has been suspended before and that his mom chose to go public with this instead of trying to handle it privately with the school gives me a bad feeling. My daughter went to elementary school with just such a special snowflake of a child who was always pushing and shoving and getting into trouble. His parents had the same “boys will be boys” attitude until said child found a nail on the playground and drove it into another kid’s arm.

  21. CSK says:

    @beth:

    Point taken. There are mean, violent kids, as much as people hate to admit it. Some of them probably aren’t salvageable, more’s the pity. Still, labeling a 6-year-old a sexual harasser doesn’t seem like the most productive way of dealing with this situation. Apart from anything else, it undermines the seriousness of cases of genuine sexual harassment. Or it provides an excuse for deniers to say that all accusations of sexual harassment are false. charges made by neurotic or vengeful women.

  22. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    Now why did that get a down-vote?
    Truth hurts?

  23. Tyrell says:

    Add this to the list: student questioned for hours and suspended for toy cap pistol on bus, student suspended for making a gun image out of a “Pop Tart”, student suspended for making poster of WWII weapons, “bullying” now includes making fun of someone’s shoes, dodgeball outlawed at many schools.
    “What is it with you people, too much sun?” (“Coogan’s Bluff”)

  24. Bkhuna says:

    Until the normal Americans that live in Colorado secced, this is one more reason to eschew Colorado.

  25. beth says:

    @CSK: I agree completely. Putting this label on a 6 year old is stupid. It just always makes me wonder when the school goes to discipline a child and the parent’s reaction is to call the local tv stations.

  26. alkali says:

    The word “sexual” in sexual harassment doesn’t mean that the harassment is totally hot and sexy, or that it occurred because of the harasser’s erotic urges. It means that the harasser is bothering people based on whether they are male and female — including, for example, by kissing or groping them.

    Accordingly, I’m unclear on why anyone would think this isn’t sexual harassment. If a 6 year old punched another 6 year old in the face, and someone said the wrongdoer had assaulted his classmate, that would be accurate. Likewise this.

    [Edit: also, the posed stock photograph used at the top of this story is wildly misappropriate.]

  27. Mikey says:

    The Wiki entry on sexual harassment contains a sentence that explains exactly why this boy has been suspended: ” In Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, and Murrell v. School Dist. No. 1, 1999, schools were assigned liability for peer-to-peer sexual harassment if the plaintiff sufficiently demonstrated that the administration’s response shows “deliberate indifference” to “actual knowledge” of discrimination.”

    tl;dr: if the school doesn’t act and things get out of hand, it bears liability and the girls parents could file suit.

  28. Tillman says:

    @alkali: Doesn’t the girl in this case have to be harassed? It sounds more like the boy was being disruptive in class by kissing the girl.

  29. alkali says:

    @Tillman: Fair enough. If he was bothering her by repeatedly kissing her without her consent, that’s harassment. But if they were playing at boyfriend and girlfriend, as the boy and his parents have said, then it isn’t harassment.(*) We can’t really know what the facts are, including because the school can’t give its side.

    (* Even if there was no harassment, I can imagine that a school might properly discipline kissing 6-year-olds for some other reason, depending on the circumstances — but again we don’t know the facts.)

  30. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    You forget, Mikey, as per the Obama education department, all kindergartners are now made aware of the full spectrum of sexuality. Failure to have the lesson is no excuse before the law of stupid “educators”

    Well heck yeah, who doesn’t blame the Obama Administration for this?

  31. Tim says:

    @Franklin:

    Wow, a full 10 posts before someone blamed this on Obama. Possibly a new record.

    Yeah, the blame game here gets old, but I also noticed that it only took two posts before C. Clavin tried to lay the blame at the feet of Republican evangelicals.

    All these snide comments are getting very damned old.

  32. bill says:

    @Franklin: i was waiting for them to blame Bush…
    but back to reality, wth is going on in colo.? is the thin air really to blame for all this craziness?