Monday, December 30, 2013

There's harassment and there's sexual harassment.

And this isn't sexual harassment ... They are six years old, in first grade. Yes, he needs to be punished. If the school has warned him more than once, warned the mother more than once, gradually ramped up the punishments as he repeated his actions ... then suspend him so the parents can do their due diligence.

But this is not sexual harassment.
The mother of a girl involved in the case of a 6-year-old Colorado boy suspended for giving a classmate unwanted kisses says the school did the right thing, ... did a "great job" protecting her daughter from repeated harassment from the boy.

First-grader Hunter Yelton was given a two-day suspension, with a sexual harassment infraction on his discipline record. The boy's mother, Jennifer Saunders, insists the punishment was too harsh. "He is 6 years old, and that is absolutely ridiculous for him to have 'sexual harassment' on his record, even it is (only on the district's) record," she said.

But Masters-Ownbey says the kissing was "not once, but over and over." She said she hoped people would not "start bashing the school that is doing a great job protecting my child from what is sexual harassment."

School officials insist the boy was repeatedly warned and that the punishment was warranted. Lincoln Elementary School Principal Tammy DeWolfe said the school would "never suspend a student for one minor little violation." No criminal charges have been brought against the boy.

Masters-Ownbey stated her daughter's older brother has felt like he needed to protect her at school. "In elementary school, when a boy kisses a girl, the usual response of their peers is 'ewwww,'" she stated. "So why do the other kids rush to tell? Because they've seen it over and over, they've seen him repeatedly get in trouble for it, they've seen the girl repeatedly tell him to stop, they know it's wrong."
I'm not sure how the girl's mother could be saying "did a 'great job' protecting her daughter from repeated harassment from the boy" when he's done this so often that the other kids rushed to tell on him and knew he'd gotten "repeatedly in trouble for it."

I think the boy's mother needs to do something about it, take some responsibility for disciplining and correcting the boy, without whining publicly about the label.  The school shouldn't allow him back until everyone is satisfied that he won't continue, but they should change the label. Feeling "sorry" and "apologizing" will probably be fake as hell because he's six, but worthwhile in the long term.

What kills me is that stories like this tend to blow up on social media and get the school-haters and pro-vouchers/anti-public school advocates going ... and it could have been so easily avoided.

LATER: I notice the school has changed it to "misconduct."

No comments:

Post a Comment