Posts Tagged ‘ school suspension ’

Sexual Harassment Charge Against 6-Year-Old Dropped

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.

Get valuable parenting news and tips in your inbox.

Image: Kids holding hands, via Shutterstock

Add a Comment
Back To Parents News Now

‘Zero Tolerance’ School Suspension Policy Debated Post-Newtown

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Schools are increasingly debating the value of “zero tolerance” policies of suspending students who make threats in even the most unassuming ways.  In the wake of the tragic Newtown, Connecticut school shooting late last year, some parents are jittery and want school officials to enforce the zero tolerance policy.  Others, however believe that the policies discourage children from finding healthy ways to express anger.  More from The Associated Press:

The extent to which the Newtown, Conn., shooting might influence educators’ disciplinary decisions is unclear. But parents contend administrators are projecting adult fears onto children who know little about the massacre of 20 first-graders and six educators, and who certainly pose no threat to anyone.

‘‘It’s horrible what they’re doing to these kids,’’ said Kelly Guarna, whose 5-year-old daughter, Madison, was suspended by Mount Carmel Area School District in eastern Pennsylvania last month for making a ‘‘terroristic threat’’ with the bubble gun. ‘‘They’re treating them as mini-adults, making them grow up too fast, and robbing them of their imaginations.’’

Mary Czajkowski, superintendent of Barnstable Public Schools in Hyannis, Mass., acknowledged that Sandy Hook has teachers and parents on edge. But she defended Hyannis West Elementary School’s warning to a 5-year-old boy who chased his classmates with a gun he’d made from plastic building blocks, saying the student didn’t listen to the teacher when she told him repeatedly to stop.

The school told his mother if it happened again, he’d face a two-week suspension.

‘‘Given the heightened awareness and sensitivity, we must do all that we can to ensure that all students and adults both remain safe and feel safe in schools,’’ Czajkowski said in a statement. ‘‘To dismiss or overlook an incident that results in any member of our school community feeling unsafe or threatened would be irresponsible and negligent.’’

Image: School sign, via Shutterstock

Add a Comment
Back To Parents News Now