Friday, December 13th, 2013
A six-year-old Colorado boy who was suspended from school under a sexual harassment claim after he allegedly kissed a girl on her hand has been reinstated at school, and the charge has been dropped. The incident made national news, and the outcome has apparently relieved the boy’s mother but disappointed the girl’s. More from CNN:
The story of first-grader Hunter Yelton made national news and spurred outrage this week after word spread that his school near Colorado Springs suspended him for the kiss and accused him of sexually harassing the girl.
On Wednesday night, CNN affiliate KRDO reported that Canon City Schools Superintendent Robin Gooldy met with Hunter’s parents. The superintendent then changed Hunter’s disciplinary offense from “sexual harassment” to “misconduct.”
The boy has also returned to school at the Lincoln School of Science & Technology.
The boy’s mother, Jennifer Saunders, told KRDO the whole thing stemmed from an innocent crush Hunter had on a girl in the class. He kissed her on the hand during reading group. That landed him a two-day suspension from school and an entry of sexual harassment in his school files.
Saunders admitted Hunter had problems at school before, getting suspended for rough-housing and for kissing the same girl on the cheek.
But the label of sexual harasser outraged her.
“This is taking it to an extreme that doesn’t need to be met with a 6-year-old,” Saunders told the station “Now my son’s asking questions, ‘What is sex, mommy?’”
Jade Masters-Ownbey, the mother of the girl Hunter is accused of kissing, told the local newspaper that the school district was right in protecting her daughter.
The mother, who is also a teacher in the school district, said Hunter had tried to kiss her daughter “over and over” without her permission, according to Canon City Daily Record.
“I’ve had to coach her about what to do when you don’t want someone touching you, but they won’t stop,” Masters-Ownbey told the newspaper.
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