Which is more inappropriate, the kid or the school?

Mods: I searched for this topic, couldn’t find it; if it exists, or belongs elsewhere, I assume you’ll take the appropriate action.

Okay, so school officials in Texas punished a 4-year-old kid for hugging his teacher. The teacher claimed he rubbed his face in her breasts. Look, even if the kid saw Daddy do the same thing to Mommy, how does that merit punishment? Kids need to be taught that certain behavior is inappropriate because the just don’t know any better – but they should be taught, not punshed, right?

I started to post about this but I couldn’t post in a polite enough manner for GD. Suffice it to say this should be in the Pit, and the kid should not have been punished.

:shuts mouth firmly:

I can’t come up with a clear answer based on that article. I have too many questions, like why was the aide disturbed enough by the kid’s actions to file a report? How long has she been an aide? How old is she? Does she herself have any children? I can conceive of a hypothetical situation in which a child rubbing his face on my breasts would make me go - Woah! That was fucking weird and disturbing and I really wonder if this kid has been abused, because that was NOT the action of a normal 4 year old. If, to give another example, I’m giving a 4 year old a peck on the cheek and suddenly I have 4 year old tongue forced into my mouth, I’m going to wonder where in the hell he learned that that was how you kiss a grownup.

But it’s far, far more likely that this kid was just messing around and being goofy and a young, inexperienced aide over-reacted. Again, this is totally hypothetical on my part, because that article doesn’t give me enough information to determine anything on my own.

It’s even possible that the aide herself wasn’t the one bothered, but that some superior witnessed the event and made her file a report to ward off charges and a lawsuit against the school itself for sexual conduct with a student if the kid told the parents that he touched Miss Smith’s boobies. Who knows? Not this reader.

When I was a kid many years ago, I don’t think I could have distinguished my mother’s body from that of my teacher - although I do remember that my teacher at 4 years old was the nicest person I ever met.

I think her name was Miss Dawson.

46 years ago I had no idea of what breasts were, if she is complaining then she should not be teaching (essentially) nursery class.

Wait, I forgot about that part.

“Punishment” is how you teach, if simple words haven’t done it. It’s possible, again speculating, that this kid has done this before, or otherwise doesn’t respond to verbal warnings, and removing him from the classroom was the only consequence that would get through to him that you just don’t do that. It’s possible the school has instituted one of those stupid ass “zero tolerance” policies and is now bound in a net of their own devising.

And a stupid *breast * “zero tolerance” policies as well.

Based on just the information in the article, the teacher over-reacted.

If the boy had a history of inappropriate touching it might be a cause for concern, but based on one hug it was over the top.

This is interesting because my sister was telling me about her 9 year old son’s friend that has a habit of doing this. He also told her one day that she looked “sexy” and it creeped her out. Maybe the teacher got some sort of creepy vibe too. My sister thinks he might have heard the whole “sexy” thing from one of his older sisters, and he has a father that is physically and emotionally absent so the kid tends to be a little clingy.

The teacher could have felt that something didn’t seem quite right about what he did. If that was the case they could have had a conference with the parents and explained her concern. Did she think this 5 year old kid was coming on to her?

On previewing I see WhyNot mentioned he might have done it before.

I agree…there is not enough information in the article to explain why the adult would be disturbed by the child’s behavior. It seems to me just as likely that the aide has an inappropriate sexual response as it is that the child does…it depends on exactly what happened.

I doubt the boy meant anything by it and was probably just snuggling or nuzzling in the way that small children sometimes do.

Even if he was copying behavior he’s seen elsewhere, the reaction to this is completely out of proportion. The child should have just been told, “No, we don’t do that at school” and sent off to play. Instead, he’s going to be traumatized and scarred. Having a report of sexual harassment/misconduct in his school record is bad enough, but now that this incident has been publicized, all of his peers are going to tease him or fear him (depending on their parents’ reaction.)

I have no qualms in saying that the response of the school is inappropriate. Regardless of what motivation the boy may have had, at the age of 4, you don’t damage his permanent record by accusing him of inappropriate touching, nor do you give him a suspension. If you cannot conceive of a way to handle his inappropriated touchings without that, you aren’t very qualified to run a school. :rolleyes:

Furthermore, there’s the issue that the four-year old is a Black male. Black boys are under scrutiny in schooling settings - look at referrals for discipline, special education placement, suspensions, etc. Knowing this (and if the administrators don’t know this, they are not in any position to be running a school), they have already placed a black mark (pun not intended) on this child’s record. At best these people are ignorant knee-jerk reactionaries. At worst…

I have heard and seen a number of odd, out-of-place actions with young kids. Touching each other or themselves, exposing themselves… while these actions can indicate that something is amiss, it can be a completely normal part of development. I have no problem with the school bringing the parents in for a conference if they’re concerned. Suspending a four-year old and labeling him as engaging in “unwanted and inappropriate sexual contact?” Are you fucking serious?

More power to the dad for fighting this thing and going as public as he can. Black fathers are often perceived to be out of the picture. This kid has a strong dad that is fighting to have his name cleared.

Christ, talking about screwing over kids before they’ve even had a chance to get started in life.

How permanent is the “permanent record”? I mean, we were all scared of it when we were 10, but I don’t think my last employer knew that in 1st grade I wet my pants during reading circle because Laurie Nichols wouldn’t let me raise my hand to tell the teacher I needed to go to the bathroom (bitch), or that I called Mark McKinney a “doo-doo head”.

My mom teaches 6th grade, and despite being an award winning (literally) teacher, never cracks a cum. file unless the kid is an active problem in her classroom. Then she’ll go into “the permanent record” to see what his history is. Teachers have far more to worry about than researching what the kid did in day care (4 years old is not even in kindergarten yet) - especially since most records from day care do not make it to the public school system at all.

I just think perhaps this guy should pick his battles. I’m afraid he might be making a bigger deal of it than it really is, scary sounding “permanent records” notwithstanding.

Permanent records are gatekeeping mechanisms. They can be used to build a case against a student, or keep a student from opportunities. I taught in an inner-city school which happens to be the alma mater of a famous athlete. His permanent file is still at the school (and huge - guy was a discipline problem).

Seeing that this program is run by the school district, I would assume that it will follow him to grade school.

I don’t understand the “pick your battles” argument. This isn’t a note home to mom and dad or a low grade. This is documentary evidence that the kid was engaged in sexual harassment. If that’s not something to pick a battle over, what is? If it were your child, would you just let it go? :confused:

Who do you mean by “this guy” the father or the principal?

If this was a one-time incident, and the schools response is to suspend a 4 year old and claim he’s sexually harassing adults, then I’d say the father is totally in the right demanding an apology and purging of the record. It’s a ridiculous overreaction by the school and merely reducing it to a severe overreaction does not make it right.

Regardless whether the kid misbehaved or the aide overreacted, the wrong response by the school is to send off a cryptic notification of a disciplinary action. My first thought would be to fire the administration and look for some professionals.

When a kid (particularly below the age of middle school, although I would prefer to see it extended to older grades), acts up to the point of requiring discipline beyond a teacher’s reprimand, the first action is to contact the parents to get all the adults on the same side to work as a team to correct the student’s behavior. Sending off an “in-school suspension” notice is the stupid and cowardly CYA behavior of a clueless administrator.

(Now, if the school attempted to deal with the parents, got blown off, and resorted to the letter, and the parent is now shaping the story while the school feels it cannot respond, then I withdraw my accusation. However, I stand by my assessment that (particularly at that age) no serious discipline should be meted out without direct parental involvement.)

How do we know this? It is not in the link.

And look what happened to him. Proud of yourself?

They showed an interview with the dad on Fox 25 News here in Boston. Kid was in the background.

I’m not sure who I mean, honestly. I’m going to back out of this one now, as** Hippy Hollow **obviously has more information about the case than what was presented in the OP, and that’s all I was able to base my comments on.
…I’m pretty sure it was a different Mark McKinney. Or, alternatively: See? He *was *a doo-doo head! :smiley:


Well, I don’t know exactly what a “cum file” is, but if the kid on the OP has one, he should definitely be punished. :cool: