Education Law

School won't label first grader’s kissing 'sexual harassment'


A Colorado school that suspended a 6-year-old boy for kissing a classmate has agreed to change the school record so his conduct won’t be labeled “sexual harassment.”

The Cañon City school district will instead label the boy’s actions “misconduct,” report CNN and the Associated Press. The boy was suspended after kissing a classmate on the cheek and on the hand, according to his mother, Jennifer Saunders. The district agreed to change the label after meeting with the boy’s parents.

Saunders had expressed outrage about the sexual harassment label, telling a local broadcast station that her son had an innocent crush on the girl, who liked him back. But the girl’s mother, Jade Masters-Ownbey, said on Facebook that the school did a great job protecting her daughter from repeated sexual harassment, the Cañon City Daily Record reports.

“Not once, but over and over … not with her permission but sneaking up on her,” she wrote.

School principal Tammy DeWolfe said the school was trying to maintain a safe learning environment and officials would “never suspend a student for one minor little violation.” Typically, she told the Daily Record, suspension is imposed after behaviors don’t change over time.

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