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An Innocent Kiss This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Two weeks ago, a male student was charged with sexual harassment of a female student during school. The boy was harshly punished by the school administration: they immediately suspended the kid. The only problem was that the boy is six years old.

The boy, Jonathan Prevette, had expressed his friendship by giving an innocent kiss on the cheek to a fellow classmate after she had asked him to. A teacher (who had seen this) reported it to the office, and the principal decided to punish him. Jonathan was crushed, not because he was being charged with sexual harassment, but because he was stripped of his time for coloring and playing with his friends. He was also banned from an ice cream party that was held to honor the students with good attendance. The district spokeswoman claims that this kiss was inappropriate behavior. "Unwelcome is unwelcome at any age," she said.

"Can't you just imagine children skipping down the hall holding hands? Isn't that Norman Rockwell America?" Jonathan's mother asked. She said she could understand the sexual harassment rule directed at older students. Personally, I agree with her.

I feel that the school out of line. For crying out loud, the children are six years old. Children that young are still learning right from wrong. They don't know that a kiss on the cheek can mean anything more than a sign of friendship, let alone be a misdemeanor. How can you charge a child with a crime if he or she honestly doesn't know that it is wrong? If there really is a rule for no physical contact, the most they should have done is sat the child down and explained this. Then they should have called his parents to explain the situation. That's it. Furthermore, even if the children knew there was a chance of getting in trouble, who is the school to say whether or not they can kiss? There is no law against kissing someone and showing some kind of affection. No one ever makes a big deal about a hug or a handshake. These are signs of friendship as well. Just as Ms. Prevette said. "This makes children wonder AShould I hug somebody?' It's no wonder we have all these people with behavior problems." ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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queentabbiecat99 said...
Feb. 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm
THIS MAKES ME MAD really what the heck it was a little kid.. a little girl came up and kissed my 7 year old brother on the cheek and we went so cute really what the heck GERRRRRR
 
Katie T. said...
Feb. 28, 2011 at 12:37 am

The girl even said he could.

I think that it was overkill. The kid didn't understand so why punish him so severly? He might still be wondering what it was that he did wrong.

Children at that age are carefree and innocent. Free of the burdens of the world, so why thrust them needlessly upon their shoulders. They suddenly have this weight and are not old enough to comprehend what it is.

This makes me sad.

 
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