It seems like everyday we hear stories of how "Zero Tolerance Policies" enforced by power-hungry school administrators adversely affect the lives of their students. Hunter Yelton, a six-year-old boy, was suspended for "sexual harassment" after kissing his "girlfriend" on the hand and cheek in class at the Lincoln School of Science and Technology in Canon City, Colo.
Here is alleged serial sexual harasser Hunter Yelton in his own words.
As every non-school administrator knows, six-year-olds don't really know what sex is; all they know is that you kiss someone you like or love. Hunter and this girl apparently "like each other," and the girl was fine with Hunter kissing her hand during reading group. What should have been an innocent moment ended in a suspension, and the school listing a 6-year-old as a sexual harasser on his record. To hell with actually teaching classroom decorum, it is so much easier to just throw the kid out of school for a few days.
What zero tolerance policies fail to take into account are gray areas in life (for example, childhood innocence) — that deaf kids can be named Trigger, or that kids can pretend to use bows-and-arrows or guns as a means of play. They've been doing it for decades and these policies remove the fun kids are supposed to be having at a young age. Why not save claims of sexual harassment until the child can actually understand what sex is?
I'm sure "zero tolerance" sounds better to the moms and dads who vote for school board.
School districts should be handling issues on a case-by-case basis. If there's a case of unwanted touching in high school or middle school, one can make the case for sexual harassment. But if you're a school administrator and you suspend a kid roughly the same age as the boy in the "High Five For First Kiss" video for sexual harassment, I'm going to laugh at you on the internet.