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A Maryland kindergarten student has been accused of sexual harassment and written up. The 5-year-old boy pinched a girl's buttocks.

http://www.azcentral.com/offbeat/articles/1221KinderHarassment21-ON.html

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Artemis
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Okay, this is clearly more wrong than the case of the 4 year old who got written up for hugging (groping?) a teacher's aide. But again, the way in which it's being handled is ridiculous. Tell the kid it's wrong, give him a time out, a lecture. Let him know now that you have to respect people's bodies--it's probably a great time, instead of ten years down the line when he's dating. But don't accuse of him of something he has no concept of. He's just going to get freaked out.

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Purple Iguana
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How can someone who doesn't understand what sex is be guilty of sexual harassment? He's 5. The word "butt" is hysterical to 5 year olds. Farts and poop come out of there. "Saving society" is going to destroy us all.

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Diesa
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Man It is so wrong bet he does not play sports or he would have gotten a slap on the wrist [flame]
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Rhiandmoi
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when I was in kindergarten in 1982, a little boy had been flipping up all the girls skirts to see their underpants. When he flipped up mine I told the teacher. He just got spanked and sent home because we didn't have sexual harassment rules when I was in Kindergarten.

If he was pinching that girls bottom, just because she was a girl, that is sexual harassment. IMO, YMMV, and all that.

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Giselle
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quote:
Originally posted by Diesa:
Man It is so wrong bet he does not play sports or he would have gotten a slap on the wrist [flame]

I doubt anyone really gives a five year old who may end up being a sports star ass pinching leeway.

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Astra
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quote:
Originally posted by Giselle:
quote:
Originally posted by Diesa:
Man It is so wrong bet he does not play sports or he would have gotten a slap on the wrist [flame]

I doubt anyone really gives a five year old who may end up being a sports star ass pinching leeway.
Reading the linked article and the headline is HARD.

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Giselle
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Ok, your snark aside I read the article and the headline and don't see why you thought that was needed.

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diehard
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What is happening to society now a days for this to happen with such young persons??? It saddens me to these children it is fun in the eyes of innocence or that's what I feel children are thinking at this age.

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Astra
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quote:
Originally posted by Giselle:
Ok, your snark aside I read the article and the headline and don't see why you thought that was needed.

Um, I wasn't referring to YOU, rather to Diesa missing that part about the kid being five. I would have chalked it up to humor, but the angry smiley doesn't quite fit.

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MissEltoe
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Again. I said this in the other thread but I'm gonna say it again. I don't think this constitutes sexual harassment.

Things that are yes, wrong, should be taught to the kid that it is just that.

However, sexual harassment? I think that is just silly. I 100% agree with Purple... all that kind of stuff is funny and silly and stupid to 5-year-old kids. I think there's a way to teach the kid that it is not a nice thing to do without being labeled like a sexual deviant!

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Diesa
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I understand the kid is five years old I do not understand way the school expelled him people are to much into this sexual harassment crap Yes is does happen I have been at the reciveing end but he is a child and does not know any better my point about the sports was if he was older and this had happened it would not even be in the news because he would not have been expelled if he played football sorry about the angry face but just as I was reading this the news was on here and had mentioned something that was going on here but because the boys play football the school is not going to do anything becuase they cant lose there football players and it just made me mad that here are kids that should know better getting away with crap and yet a five year old who most likely did not realize he did anything wrong has been expelled. I guess I should not watch the news and post to message board at the same time or I rant Again I am sorry I was just upset. [Frown]
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Morgaine La Raq Star
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quote:
Originally posted by Diesa:
I understand the kid is five years old I do not understand way the school expelled him people are to much into this sexual harassment crap Yes is does happen I have been at the reciveing end but he is a child and does not know any better my point about the sports was if he was older and this had happened it would not even be in the news because he would not have been expelled if he played football sorry about the angry face but just as I was reading this the news was on here and had mentioned something that was going on here but because the boys play football the school is not going to do anything becuase they cant lose there football players and it just made me mad that here are kids that should know better getting away with crap and yet a five year old who most likely did not realize he did anything wrong has been expelled. I guess I should not watch the news and post to message board at the same time or I rant Again I am sorry I was just upset. [Frown]

Periods, paragraphs & capital letters are your friends! A paragraph/run-on sentence like you just posted is difficult to read.

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lynnejanet
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The child was not expelled. He was written up, whatever that means. I'm guessing it meant that a copy of the incident went into his permanent record.

I think what's getting people so upset is not that the child was disciplined, but the language that is bing used. First, I don't think harrassment is appropriate, if this was not an ongoing problem (and it may have been, for all we know). Second, as others have said, it's extremely unlikely that a 5 year-old intends a pinch as a sexual act.

I think the school overreacted, but I also think the father should not have gone to the press, as he seems to have done. Teach the kid that his behavior is inappropriate, but avoid the grown-up label.

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Artemis
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I think going to the press was about, for the same reason I think going to the press was bad in the case of the 4 year old accused of rubbing up against the teaching assistant's breasts. It's going to make a big deal out of something the kid probably didn't even think twice about. Again--no question that he needs to know that pinching people on the butt (or anywhere) is wrong, but having people read about it in the papers and knowing that he's committed sexual harassment is needlessly humiliating. I'm just afraid it's going to make him think about sex in shameful or dirty terms now. Kids do things that adults may consider sexual, and when we treat them like they've done something horrible, it may have a bad effect on how they view sexuality.

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Sara at home
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I see it the other way.

While I do believe that some children can sexually harass as young as five, it doesn't seem to be the case here.
quote:
The spokeswoman says the reprimand is a learning opportunity for the boy even though he may not understand that what he is doing is sexual harassment.
I think the people who should be humilated by the reporting of this episode are those putting sexual motives on an asexual act of a five year old. I have to wonder if the person writing the child up is stupid, has issues that cause him/her to see sexual activity where none exists or simply lacks common sense.

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ComicBookGeek
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Why is it a 5-year-old cannot be charged with murder but they can be charged with sexual harrassment?

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LyndaD
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In all probability, the school district is protecting themselves from a lawsuit. If they DIDN'T write it up as sexual harassment, and the little girl's (who was pinched) parents wanted to make a big deal and/or try for a nice cash settlement, they might be able to argue that the district 'did nothing'. or, if the boy happens to have another incident that could be labeled sexual harassment, the district would have to explain why the first incident wasn't treated more seriously.

When DS2 was in second grade, he was suspended for 2 days for swatting a girl on the butt. She complained, he was suspended. Never mind that they were playing tag and DS2 was 'it'. I had a talk with him about proper and improper places to tag people, he spent two days at his grandmothers and that was that. I felt no need to make a big deal out of it, even though the school felt they had to cover their butts over the incident.

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Rhiandmoi
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As I mentioned earlier, I was a kindergarten victim of sexual harassment. I can assure you that the boy flipping up skirts had a sexual motive. He wanted to see our underpants, because they were girl underpants. He might not have had a clear undersanding of sexual intercourse, but he definitely knew the difference between boys and girls. And he based his actions on that difference.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by diehard:
What is happening to society now a days for this to happen with such young persons??? It saddens me to these children it is fun in the eyes of innocence or that's what I feel children are thinking at this age.

How do you suggest it be handled? If children are not taught that the behavior is inappropriate, how will they know?

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LeaflessMapleTree
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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
As I mentioned earlier, I was a kindergarten victim of sexual harassment. I can assure you that the boy flipping up skirts had a sexual motive. He wanted to see our underpants, because they were girl underpants. He might not have had a clear undersanding of sexual intercourse, but he definitely knew the difference between boys and girls. And he based his actions on that difference.

But that doesn't make it sexual. He might have done it because he knew that there was a difference between boys' and girls' underpants. Therefore he did something wrong, and he should have been taken aside, punished perhaps in some age-appropriate way, and had it explained to him why we don't do things like that. But to suggest that his actions were sexually motivated baffles me.
quote:
Why is it a 5-year-old cannot be charged with murder but they can be charged with sexual harrassment?

I think that this comment hit the nail on the head.

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Rhiandmoi
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I was there, MapleLeaf, but I don't how to explain to you that there was definitely a sexual motive. He wasn't trying to see if we had Barbie or Superman on our underpants. He wanted to see girls' underpants because he was a 5 year old pervert.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Rixel
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quote:
Originally posted by LeaflessMapleTree:
But that doesn't make it sexual. He might have done it because he knew that there was a difference between boys' and girls' underpants. Therefore he did something wrong, and he should have been taken aside, punished perhaps in some age-appropriate way, and had it explained to him why we don't do things like that. But to suggest that his actions were sexually motivated baffles me.

Agreed. I think there's a huge difference between children teasing other children and sexual harassment, so called. Unless you (general "you") are going to assert that at the age of 5, the boy was far enough into puberty to realize the acts were sexual and not just teasing to get a reaction from the girl, then to call it sexual harassment is foolish at best. Like most everyone else, yes I agree the child should've been punished in some mild way and taught more about what's appropriate touching and what's not, but to make him live with the stigma later in life of "sexually harassing" someone at the age of 5..

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Christie
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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
As I mentioned earlier, I was a kindergarten victim of sexual harassment. I can assure you that the boy flipping up skirts had a sexual motive. He wanted to see our underpants, because they were girl underpants. He might not have had a clear undersanding of sexual intercourse, but he definitely knew the difference between boys and girls. And he based his actions on that difference.

A friend of mine was "sexually harassed" by a 5 year old she was babysitting. He kept saying "you have a 'gina and I want to see it" and kept trying to get his hands into her pants so he could pull them down. She ended up locking herself in the bathroom and calling her mother for some advice on how to deal with the little pervert.

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Sara at home
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I suspect that a five year old trying to see girls underpants is doing it to push buttons, not for sexual reasons. I suspect that in his mind it's harmless and he doesn't understand why everyone gets so worked up over looking at girls underpants...they're just underpants. The behavior is usually (and, again, admitted not always) just a five year old being naughty in some way that, in his mind, doesn't hurt anyone.

I think you have to have some sexual motivation for sexual harassment and I know very, very few five year olds are sexual.

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Artemis
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Yeah. I think that a five year old looking at girls' underwear may be about gender, but not sexuality. Maybe he's curious about girls' undewear because they're different than him...doesn't mean he's doing it out of sexual attraction.

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Soft Hyphen
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Why do I get the feeling that if instead of pinching a girl, he had punched another boy in the face, his punishment would have likely been less severe? (Wasn't there a thread on bullying recently?)
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Christie
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quote:
Originally posted by Soft Hyphen:
Why do I get the feeling that if instead of pinching a girl, he had punched another boy in the face, his punishment would have likely been less severe? (Wasn't there a thread on bullying recently?)

How much less severe can a punishment get? The lad was "written up" not taken out into the schoolyard and flogged. While we may disagree on the wording of the reason for his being written up I don't think the issue is the severity of his punishment.

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Maddie
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I think the term 'sexual harassment' is being thrown around too carelessly these days. I can picture the boy seeing his dad pinching his mum on the bum, & the mum giggling, so the boy thought it wasn't a bad thing. Something of that nature. But I don't think it can be called sexual harassment.

I just think that if we call this sexual harassment, then the other cases where strong sexual harassment is taking place might not be taken as seriously as they should.

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diehard
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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
quote:
Originally posted by diehard:
What is happening to society now a days for this to happen with such young persons??? It saddens me to these children it is fun in the eyes of innocence or that's what I feel children are thinking at this age.

How do you suggest it be handled? If children are not taught that the behavior is inappropriate, how will they know?
I am mostly talking about the terms of sexual harassment, I don't mean handling a situation that was always dealt with by discussion in the classroom, office or family member. I mean I don't feel that a child at the age of 5 understands the scope of sexual harassment. Just my opinion.

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Banquo's Ghost
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Why can't a child be charged with murder but can be charged with sexual harrassment? In this case he's not being "charged," in the legal sense, with harrassment. No prosecutor seems to be bringing a case against the child.

Conceptually, the argument is valid. The law does not hold children below a certain age accountable due to the inability to form the intent to commit the crime; the inability to comprehend the criminal nature of the act. It does not matter, from a statutory point of view, whether the crime in homicide or harrassment.

If a five year old were to bring a gun to school and shoot a classmate, I'm not sure that the school or the press or whoever would refer to the act as murder. Murder as understood as a specific legal term. Maybe they would, I don't know. In cases like this, however, the legal term, sexual harrassment, is used. I agree that the use of legal term is troubling if the "offender" is legally incapable of committing the act.

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Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop
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What's wrong with just calling it "inappropriate touching?" Accurate, descriptive, doesn't imply unlikely or difficult-to-prove motives.

Nonny

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diehard
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quote:
Originally posted by Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop:
What's wrong with just calling it "inappropriate touching?" Accurate, descriptive, doesn't imply unlikely or difficult-to-prove motives.

Nonny

I agree with this I don't believe that as a child I knew what the term even meant, I believe that now a days we are trying to put a "blanket" on everything. I don't believe our children are in the state of sexual harassment as much as normal things in life such as finding out that "Sally" is different than "Johnny". I believe at one point in school this was discussed with us as "inappropriate contact" why is that still not discussed when these incidents happen, or in health class for that matter???

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El Camino
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quote:
Originally posted by Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop:
What's wrong with just calling it "inappropriate touching?" Accurate, descriptive, doesn't imply unlikely or difficult-to-prove motives.

Nonny

I agree also. We (in general) tell our children that they have "private parts" that they shouldn't let others see or touch, and that goes for everyone. We don't tell them why, they just are private. A child will (or should) understand that they shouldn't touch someone's private parts. They almost certainly won't understand what "sexual harrasment" is. So in my mind, labelling it as such is likely only to be confusing to the child and counterproductive.
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