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Opening Arguments

Don't touch!

Here we go again -- zero-tolerance taken to absurd lengths:

Smacking a female classmate's behind has garnered a one-day suspension for a 6-year-old Hoagland Elementary student on grounds of sexual harassment, raising the ire of the boy's mother who is questioning the school's labeling of the incident.

“He doesn't even know what the word


Harl Delos
Thu, 05/15/2008 - 9:26am

My wife tells me that some first grade boys come up and hug female teachers and aides, burying their faces in the woman's chest. It doesn't happen nearly as often with flat-chested women, and it doesn't seem to happen at all with female students. My wife isn't flat-chested. She isn't harassed by this, but she IS scared to death that someone will make accusations against her.

The kid at Hoagland probably is engaged in regular harassment, not sexual harassment, though. He'd be as likely to smack a guy's butt as a girl's, if he wasn't afraid that he'd get clobbered in return.

But non-sexual harassment shouldn't be acceptable.

But schools exist because kids need to learn stuff. One of the things they need to learn is to behave. They ought not expel the kid; sentencing him to days watching TV and playing video games is a reward, not a punishment. They need to use in-school detention instead, plopping the kid in isolation and giving him schoolwork to do.

"God invented school boards," according to Mark Twain. "That was for practice. Then he invented jackasses."

tim zank
Thu, 05/15/2008 - 9:38am

Here's a novel idea...Tell the kid not to do that and go back to his seat.

Harl Delos
Thu, 05/15/2008 - 10:32am

Good idea, Tim. That's what my wife does. With some kids, though, it's sorta like telling mosquitos to go elsewhere and let you fish in peace.

My neighbor, Don, says he's not sure about primary school students, but teenagers will behave if you calmly explain to them what you want them to do. He points out that you have to get their attention first, though, and says laying a 2x4 up aside the head will do that.