Colorado Springs, CO- Colleges and universities may not take sexual harassment seriously, but administrators at a Colorado Springs elementary school do, and they showed that by suspending a six-year old boy for sexual harassment after he kissed on of his classmates on the hand.
First grader Hunter Yelton is like any boy, he likes science and P.E. and he has a crush on one of his classmates. Recently, while Hunter and his tiny Juliet were in reading class, he reached over and kissed her hand. That’s when he was yanked out of class and sent to the principal’s office. His mother was called to the school and Hunter was suspended from school .
Hunter’s mother said the girl doesn’t mind; she likes Hunter and they consider themselves to be boyfriend and girlfriend.
Now at age six, Hunter Yelton has a sexual harassment charge on his school record, which could affect him down the road when applying for college. The school district said they only put the charge on a student’s record if it is a repeat offense; Hunter previously got into trouble for kissing the same girl on the cheek. They hope the suspension will
“They sent me to the office, fair and square. I did something wrong and I feel sorry,” Yelton told KRDO-TV.
This may be a bit of overreach; especially at age six most kids have no idea what sex is least of all what constitutes as sexual harassment. His mother, Jennifer Saunders, told KRDO-TV that Hunter is now asking her what sex is; before he was accused of sexual harassment no such thoughts crossed the energetic boy’s mind.
“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?’”
Robin Gooldy, the superintendent of Cañon City Schools told HLN, “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. We have to think about both students in the situation.”
Though Saunders admits her son has some behavioral problems and has been suspended before for disrupting class and she they are working on those issues but she wants the school to take the sexual harassment charge off 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,” she told the station.
There seems to be a bit of a disconnect in the educational system when it comes to sexual harassment. While elementary schools treat innocent incidents as serious infractions, colleges and universities don’t even take sexual assault or rape seriously enough to investigate complaints when they arise. Issues such as bullying and sexual abuse need to be addressed in all schools but does anyone really believe that Hunter is guilty of sexual harassment?