Thursday, February 09, 2006

[politics][random] Sexual harassment in the classroom

One student harassing another - okay, I can imagine it happening. Hell, I've seen it happen. Having a sexual harassment policy on the record is, I think, a Good Idea for schools. But how about applying that policy to a 6 year old? In reading the linked article, two things leap out at me (without knowing all the facts, obviously): one, the school overreacted; two, the child's mother is a farkin' idiot. First, the situation:
The first-grader was suspended for three days for sexual harassment after he put two fingers inside a classmate’s waistband, school officials told his mother, Berthena Dorinvil. The boy told her he only touched the girl’s shirt after the girl touched him.
Okay, now the mom:
The boy’s mother called the Jan. 30 suspension from Downey Elementary School outrageous. She said she can’t even explain to her son what he did wrong because he’s too young to understand.
Ahhh!!! The Stupid! It burns!!! It burns us, it does!!! Again, assuming that the story is true as reported (and we're gonna do that because I'm not about to get all Rashômon here), as a parent of an almost-6-year-old, I'm not sure who I'm the most pissed off at here. The school sounds like it fucked up: the kid is 6 after all. If this is his first exposure to full-day school, then he may need help with socialization. Stop listening solely to your lawyers and maybe start asking questions to child development experts, m'kay? Because if your policies can't differentiate between a child that's 6 and a child that's, oh, 12 or 13, then they're just plain fucked up. To the mom: no one is asking you to explain sexual harassment to your child - they're asking you to tell him under what circumstances he may or may not touch people. It's called parenting. Do it. It's your fucking job.

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