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When kids misbehave in the classroom, consequences should and will follow. However, sometimes teachers and principals go overboard...way way way overboard.
Hunter Yelton, a first grader at Lincoln School of Science and Technology in Canon City, Colorado, was suspended from school earlier this week because he supposedly engaged in "sexual harassment." This so called harassment consisted of kissing a female classmate's hand. The severity of the six-year-old's punishment has been "justified" by the fact that he was previously reprimanded for kissing the same girl on the cheek (which was referred to as "roughhousing"). Yelton's mother, Jennifer Saunders, has been arguing with school officials concerning the unfair treatment of her son.
When interviewed by KRDO-TV, Yelton explained, "It was during class yeah. We were doing reading group and I leaned over and kissed her on the hand. That's what happened." He went on to say, "They sent me to the office, fair and square. I did something wrong and I feel sorry."
Saunders seemed much less "sorry" than her son when she spoke about the issue, according to The Associated Press. "She (the girl he kissed) 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."
She later told KRDO "How can you do this? How can you say this about my child? Remove sexual harassment, remove it from his record. I'm going to stand up and fight for him because that's not the case, that's not what happened at all.”
While Yelton's behavior could reasonably be labeled "classroom disruption," the first grader will have "sexual harassment" on his academic record due to his school district's strict zero-tolerance policy.