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A 6-year-old boy near Colorado Springs, Colorado, was suspended from school for kissing a girl on the hand. You read that correctly.
“It was during class,” first-grader Hunter Yelton said in an interview with CNN affiliate KRDO. “We were doing reading group, and I leaned over and kissed her on the hand. That’s what happened.”
Not only did Hunter’s peck get him suspended from school, but the school accused him of sexual harassment, KRDO reported.
Hunter’s mom, Jennifer Saunders, is outraged.
“This is taking it to an extreme that doesn’t need to be met with a 6-year-old,” Saunders told KRDO. Now my son’s asking questions, ‘What is sex, mommy?'”
She said Hunter had problems at school before, getting suspended for rough-housing and for kissing the same girl on the cheek. The family has been working with him on “class disruptions” by grounding him and giving him “big restrictions,” Saunders said.
Robin Gooldy, the superintendent of Cañon City Schools, told KRDO that Hunter’s record will remain within the district and that his behavior fits the school policy description of sexual harassment, which includes unwanted touching.
“Our main interest in this is having the behavior stop because the story is not just about the student that was disciplined, it is also about the student receiving the unwanted advances,” Gooldy told HLN. “We have to think about both students in the situation.”
Saunders said the girl in question was “fine with it” because Hunter and the girl consider themselves “boyfriend and girlfriend.” She wants her son’s record cleared of anything suggesting sexual harassment.
“Remove it from his record,” she told KRDO. “I need to stand up and fight for him. I can’t just let that happen because it’s not the case. It’s not what happened at all.”
Hunter for his part said he feels “sorry” for doing something wrong and tries to be good in school.
“But I just have a lot of energy. Six-year-olds, they have a lot of energy,” Hunter said.
They sure do, and as a parent of a 6-year-old and a 7-year-old, an innocent peck on the cheek or on the hand seems as natural for kids this age as declarations of who they plan to marry.
They don’t know anything about sex or sexual harassment. So how on earth can they be accused of such behavior?
Reaction online to Hunter’s story has been swift, with the majority of commenters expressing pure outrage.