Have you heard the story of a six-year-old girl who got suspended from school for sitting too close to a boy at the lunch table? Apparently, Sally had a crush on six-year-old Billie (not their real
names). When the lunch bell rang she would rush to buy her meal so she could sit next to him at the
table. "Hi, Billie," she kept saying, trying to get his attention, it was reported. Billie told her to go away and tried his best to ignore her, but Sally was not about to give up. Every day was the same and Billie was miserable.
Word finally reached Billie's mom that Sally was badgering her son to the point of starvation. Apparently, he was coming home ravenous, having left most of his lunch at the table uneaten. Mom marched into the principle's office the next day and had the girl suspended.
TRUE STORY? YES AND NO.
I was Sally in this story, attending a grade school in Tacoma (WA) many years ago. I remember being so smitten with Tommy (his real name), I couldn't form a complete sentence without grinning and batting my baby brown eyes. Tommy was obviously uncomfortable, poor guy. He would move as far away on the lunch bench as possible. He usually ended up wedged between me and the kid on the other side. Did Mom, our teacher or the principle get involved? NO (thankful for that). Good old-fashioned peer pressure solved the problem. Tommy's big sister approached me one day, poked me hard in the chest, and said, "Leave my brother alone." It worked. Humiliated, I sulked away my lunch hour, vowing to never like another boy again . . . and come to think of it, I kept that vow until about the eighth grade (when the hormones kicked in).
So why am I telling you this story? I was reading in the newspaper recently that a six-year-old Colorado boy had been suspended two days from school for kissing a girl. The article said it was not just one kiss, but kissing that was repeated "over and over" (I assume over a period of days). Apparently, he was warned repeatedly to stop, but the kissing persisted and the school decided to suspend him. He now has a "sexual harassment infraction on his discipline record." (Associated Press, Dec. 12, 2013).
The article left me feeling kind of sick inside. I do not know what the real solution was, but suspension with a sexual harassment infraction on his record just feels wrong. The boy is six-years-old!! How will this infraction impact him growing up? How will his family and friends treat him hence forth? I suspect neither family (or the school) feels good right now, and it is especially sad at Christmastime. I hope there is a happy ending to this story. I hope there is an outpouring of love and forgiveness for all involved. What do you think?
Here are some links with more information. I was relieved to find out the charges were changed to "misconduct!" I was also relieved to find out his mom was very upset with the first charge and went to bat for her son. A parent was very much involved in this case. You can read the article and listen to her reaction in the video below. Her son is also interviewed. I urge you to listen . . .
Copyright 2013 © Sharon Himsl