clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Can a 6-year-old boy be a sexual harasser?

True confession time: I was in second grade when I gave a girl (who shall remain nameless) a little ring I had bought the night before at a drug store. She was cute. I liked her. I had no idea what I was doing.

I dont remember ever trying to kiss this girl, but I had other friends who boasted of having done such things with girls. We were around 7 or 8 years old. My guess is we were merely imitating what television and the movies told us grownups did when they liked each other. Beyond that, I spent my days with Tonka trucks and footballs.

Was any of this sexual harassment? Do you know how silly that question would have sounded back then?

Apparently, silliness is lost on School District RE-1 in Colorado. If Barney Fife were a school administrator, you could imagine him going on about how such behavior should be nipped in the bud. And you wouldnt be too far off from what the district is doing to 6-year-old Hunter Yelton.

He kissed a girl on the hand during class. Other kids tattled on him, and now the district says it hopes putting sexual harassment on the little boys school record and suspending him will teach him a lesson.

I wish I were making this up. Watch a news report about by clicking on these words.

Yeltons mother says shes going to fight to have sexual harassment removed from his record. Fox News quotes a child psychologist who feels the district was wrong. But really, does it take a psychologist to know this? Have these people never had children of their own? Have they never been children?

The irony, of course, is that by the time little Hunter and his friend become old enough for college, they can choose from among several taxpayer funded schools that feature coed dormitories and even, in some cases, coed dorm rooms. Thats at an age when young adults, still lacking in judgment but well aware of the birds and the bees, can get themselves into real trouble.

At age 6 they arent aware of much. A kiss on the hand is innocent. Maybe talk to the kid; have his parents deal with it. But heres a clue if the Internet is filling up with news stories about a policy youre enforcing, maybe its nonsensical.