Little Hunter Yelton ran afoul of the ideologically rigid zero-tolerance education establishment, and it almost cost him dearly. KRDO in Colorado broke the story on Monday:
A 6-year-old boy is suspended from school in Cañon City for kissing a classmate on the hand.
His mother says it’s a crush and the two children like each other. But the school is calling it something else: sexual harassment.
First-grader Hunter Yelton told us he loves science and physical eduction. Also, that he has a crush on a girl at school, who likes him back.
It may sound innocent enough, but at 6-years-old, Hunter now has ‘sexual harassment’ on his school record.
“It was during class, yeah. We were doing reading group and I leaned over and kissed her on the hand. That’s what happened,” Hunter said.
What a monster. You can see why school authorities thought it necessary to kick him out of the institution until his ardor cooled, and do what they could to ruin his life by labeling him a predator.
So, Hunter was at home on Monday instead of at school.
“They sent me to the office, fair and square. I did something wrong and I feel sorry,” he said.
“She was fine with it, they are ‘boyfriend and girlfriend.’ The other children saw it and went to the music teacher,” said Hunter’s mom, Jennifer Saunders. “That was the day I had the meeting with the principal, where she first said ‘sexual harassment.’ This is taking it to an extreme that doesn’t need to be met with a 6-year-old. Now my son is asking questions — ‘what is sex, Mommy?’ That should not ever be said, sex. Not in a sentence with a 6-year-old.”
I wonder if any of the boobs responsible for this ever even briefly thought about how a 6-year-old boy would deal with accusations of “sexual harassment,” or what questions he might ask about the meaning of the “crime” he was punished for committing. Somebody’s obsessed with sex in this story, all right, but it’s not Hunter Yelton.
In their defense, administrators pointed out that this dangerous, diminutive perp is a repeat offender, having kissed the same girl on the cheek once before, and engaged in a bit of “rough-housing,” an activity frowned upon in our brave new unisexual, asexual, sex-crazed world. It’s not easy to be all three of those things at once, you know.
Fortunately, after a “tidal wave of negative publicity,” CNN reports that Hunter Yelton will get to have an education after all:
On Wednesday night, CNN affiliate KRDO reported that Canon City Schools Superintendent Robin Gooldy met with Hunter’s parents. The superintendent then changed Hunter’s disciplinary offense from “sexual harassment” to “misconduct.”
The boy has also returned to school at the Lincoln School of Science & Technology.
The mother of the little girl Hunter kissed – er, excuse me, “is accused of kissing,” so I guess the CSI team hasn’t done any DNA swabs yet – alleges that he’s been trying to kiss her daughter without permission “over and over.” The mother, who happens to be a teacher in the district, has duly “coached” her daughter “about what to do when you don’t want someone touching you, but they won’t stop.” Somehow I suspect this sort of thing has happened before in the long history of human civilization, and methods of resolving the problem were found that didn’t involve labeling a first-grade boy a “sexual harasser” and bouncing him out of school.
I suppose Hunter could have escaped punishment by lying about the kiss, since if there’s one thing the Nineties taught us, it’s that perjury in matters pertaining to “sexual harassment” is perfectly acceptable.
James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal follows the trail of nitwittery back from Colorado to Washington:
In April 2011 Russlynn Ali, then assistant education secretary for civil rights, issued a directive in which she threatened to withhold federal money from any educational institution that failed to take a hard enough line against sexual misconduct to ensure “that all students feel safe in their school.” The directive’s preamble declared: “The sexual harassment of students, including sexual violence, interferes with students’ right to receive an education free from discrimination and, in the case of sexual violence, is a crime.”
[…] “If a school knows or reasonably should know about student-on-student harassment that creates a hostile environment, Title IX [of a 1972 civil rights law] requires the school to take immediate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects,” Ali wrote. The music teacher and other school officials were faithfully if ridiculously executing that command when they investigated the tip from the kids who tattled.
The Ali directive does stipulate that “the specific steps in a school’s investigation will vary depending upon . . . the age of the student or students involved (particularly in elementary and secondary schools).” But that’s the only allowance it makes for the difference between small children and physically mature adolescents and adults. It includes no acknowledgment even of the existence of innocent children’s play, much less any exhortation not to get carried away like they did in Cañon City.
In other exciting zero-tolerance news, we’ve got ten-year-old Johnny Jones of Pennsylvania, who got suspended after pretending to shoot an imaginary bow and arrow at a classmate. He was defending himself after taking imaginary fire from a classmate with a pretend gun. Both he and the other student got a “lecture by their teacher” according to the UK Daily Mail, and were then given one-day suspensions “under the school district’s zero-tolerance policy against weapons.” I doubt anyone realized this applied to imaginary weapons, but it’s best to assume the most deranged possible response from Zero Tolerance World.
The parents of Johnny Jones are considering legal action and want their son’s school record expunged.
The family’s attorney John Whitehead, from the Rutherford Institute, said today: ‘We all want to keep the schools safe, but I’d far prefer to see something credible done about actual threats, rather than this ongoing, senseless targeting of imaginary horseplay.’
The Rutherford Institute has asked that the school remove the incident from the ten-year-old’s permanent record.
The school district has until Friday to make a decision on the incident.
According to the South Eastern School District’s Zero Tolerance policy for ‘Weapons, Ammunition and other Hazardous Items’ the school bans possession of guns, knives and other instruments that can be used to harm.
It also bans students from carrying replica or lookalike weapons – but makes no mention of the imaginary.
The modern educational establishment, lacking imagination, is apparently embarked on a crusade to stamp it out. This is a system of ideological thought control, designed to wire young brains at an early age by enforcing the preferences and attitudes of the elite. Taranto at the Wall Street Journal knows how this game is played:
As amusing as the story of Hunter Yelton is, however, it is an example of a dire and widespread problem. “Sexual harassment” rules are ostensibly sex-neutral, but in practice they are used primarily to police male behavior. Feminists like Hanna Rosin note with triumph that girls and women do better in school than their male counterparts. One reason is that normal female behavior is seldom stigmatized or punished in the name of “civil rights.”
I can’t help wondering if another underlying motive of the Zero Tolerance follies, along with some elements of the war against bullies, is to get the kids accustomed to relying on superior authority for all problem-solving and conflict resolution. Not to say that schoolyards should be brutal “Lord of the Flies” islands of unrestricted aggression – they never have been – but the message sent by some of these ridiculous crackdowns is that children are best advised to pass everything along to the authorities, no matter how trivial. They’re being taught to accept, indeed demand, heavy-handed official intervention in every moment of their lives, right down to their imaginary archery battles. Johnny Jones and his fantasy opponent didn’t run to the school principal because of some emotional trauma delivered during their horseplay; they were turned in by a girl who saw the conceptual bullets and arrows fly.