Hug lands 4-year-old in suspension
Sunday, December 10, 2006
By Emily Ingram
Tribune-Herald staff writer
When a Bellmead father received a letter from his son’s school district saying the 4-year-old had inappropriately touched a teacher’s aide, he said he couldn’t believe what he was reading.
“When I got that letter, my world flipped,” DaMarcus Blackwell said.
The Nov. 13 letter from La Vega Independent School District stated his son, who was 4 years old at the time, was involved in “inappropriate physical behavior interpreted as sexual contact and/or sexual harassment” after the boy hugged a teacher’s aide and “rubbed his face in the chest of (the) female employee” on Nov. 10.
The letter also stated Blackwell’s son, who Blackwell requested not be named in this story for privacy reasons, spent the day in in-school suspension (ISS) as punishment for the incident.
Then there's the case of this 5-year-old:
Wednesday December 20, 2006
by ERIN CUNNINGHAM
HAGERSTOWN - A kindergarten student was accused earlier this month of sexually harassing a classmate at Lincolnshire Elementary School, an accusation that will remain on his record until he moves to middle school.
Washington County Public Schools spokeswoman Carol Mowen said the definition of sexual harassment used by the school system is, "unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors and/or other inappropriate verbal, written or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed toward others."
Mowen said that definition comes from the Maryland State Department of Education.
According to a school document provided by the boy's father, the 5-year-old pinched a girl's buttocks on Dec. 8 in a hallway at the school south of Hagerstown.
Charles Vallance, the boy's father, said he was unable to explain to his son what he had done.
"He knows nothing about sex," Vallance said. "There's no way to explain what he's been written up for. He knows it as playing around. He doesn't know it as anything sexual at all."
The incident was described as "sexual harassment" on the school form.
Lincolnshire Principal Darlene Teach said "Anytime a student touches another student inappropriately, it could be sexual harassment."
During the 2005-06 school year, 28 kindergarten students in Maryland were suspended for sex offenses, including sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexual activity, according to state data. Fifteen of those suspensions were for sexual harassment.
During the 2005-06 school year, one Washington County prekindergarten student was suspended from school, and 12 of the county's kindergartners were suspended for various offenses, according to state data.
Don't the kids suffer enough in the government-funded compulsory matriculation centers without this hanging over their heads for their entire school careers?