12/15/2013 Jonathan Taylor

After outcry, school drops sexual harassment claim against 6-year-old boy

In what might be considered a first, the wave of outrage following the decision by a Canon City, Colorado school to stamp “sexual harasser” on the permanent record of a six-year-old schoolboy for kissing a girl’s hand has prompted school officials to reclassify his offense.

Yesterday this site reported on the case and the madness of the general practice among school officials of labeling prepubescent children as “sexual harassers.” Today this article from CNN tells us of the school’s recent decision:

Amid a tidal wave of negative publicity, a Colorado school system has let a 6-year-old boy return to school and said it won’t classify his kissing a girl on the hand as sexual harassment.

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.

Well done. Note that this would not have occurred without the massive outcry against the administration. It took the case blowing up in the national media for school officials to use some common sense.

CNN continues:

Boy’s mom: An innocent crush

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.

It should also be noted that earlier news accounts gave conflicting accounts as to whether the girl appreciated Hunter kissing her hand.

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?'”

And that was entirely to be expected. Children have no conceptualization of sex. Indeed, the possibility of a 6-year-old boy even having a legitimate “crush” on a girl of similar age to his is very suspect.

School system: Look at both sides

Reaction online to Hunter’s story was swift, with the majority of commenters expressed pure outrage. Gooldy, the superintendent of Canon City Schools, told HLN on Tuesday that students aren’t labeled sexual harassers after the first innocent grade-school kiss.

But if unwelcome contact or touching continues, it will be noted in the student’s file, he said. He said the school system had to look at all sides of the story.

All sides of the story, so long as it fell under the Feminist perspective that 6-year-old boys are capable of acting on sexual urges.


“Our main interest in this is having the behavior stop because the story is not just about the student that was disciplined…

Ah, but it became about that, didn’t it? And isn’t that to be expected when school officials abandon common sense and start overcharging kids, all the while completely forgetting that they are dealing with children?

I would like to hope that some school officials have actually learned something from this. But given the fact that no one in academia learned anything from the infamous 2006 Duke lacrosse false rape case – a far greater stain upon the academic culture than this case – I wouldn’t bet on it.

Jonathan Taylor
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Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.
Jonathan Taylor
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About the Author

Jonathan Taylor Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.