We have yet another example of school administrators opposing a child over innocent behavior. We have followed the zero tolerance lunacy that has taken hold of schools across the country on guns and drugs where kids are suspended for finger guns or aspirin. We have seen that same blind, senseless application of rules regarding contacts between students including suspending teenagers seen exchanging a kiss. Now a six-year-old boy has been suspended for kissing a girl on the hand as a sexual harasser. That’s right, officials in Canon City, Colorado have nailed a six-year-old sexual harasser under its zero tolerance rules. Hunter Yelton admits that he has a crush on a girl at school and, during a reading group, he leaned over and kissed her on the hand.” That is when he was nailed as a serial harasser by the administrators at Lincoln School of Science and Technology in Canon City.
What is interesting is that the news reports indicate that the girl did not object to the kiss on the cheek. Of course, that is what all six-year-old sexual harassers say.
However, the school officials insist that sexual harassment is sexual harassment and this six-year-old’s sexual predatorial conduct will no longer be tolerated. Of course there is another possibility: that adults are taking their own issues and perceptions into schools and distorting innocent behavior. I have no problem with calling in the parents and raising the issue. However, a suspension for sexual harassment?
School officials insist that the boy has had disciplinary problems, but the use of a sexual harassment rule still seems bizarre and excessive. Yet, District superintendent Robin Gooldy stands by the suspension and insists that this is unwanted touching and that Hunter needed to be stopped.
The solution of these adults is to put sexual harassment on the record of a six-year-old boy. Once again, a kiss on the hand is less disturbing than the response of these supposed adults to a kiss on the hand. Even if you do not consider such a gestures as adolescent chivalry or innocent conduct, it is not sexual harassment by any reasonable definition of that word. From the interview below, I fail to see a budding serial harasser or porn star in the making. I see a kid who may need boundaries but that is the same problem that I see in the school administrators.
Here is the little harasser and the little harasser’s mother in a local interview: