Monday, December 11, 2006

In This Case, The Teacher Needs Some Teaching

I couldn't let this story pass by without comment:
School administrators gave a 4-year-old student an in-school suspension for inappropriately touching a teacher's aide after the pre-kindergartner hugged the woman.

A letter from La Vega school district administrators to the boy's parents said he was involved in "inappropriate physical behavior interpreted as sexual contact and/or sexual harassment" when he "rubbed his face" in the aide's chest while hugging her.

DaMarcus Blackwell, the boy's father, filed a complaint over the punishment. "When I got that letter, my world flipped," he said.

The district has since notified him that the offense has been changed to "inappropriate physical contact" and that references to sexual contact or sexual harassment have been removed.

The La Vega school district covers about 30 miles around Waco.
You've. Got. To. Be. Kidding.

I would think that anyone with half a brain would know that it's virtually impossible, even in our Britney-ized society, for a 4-year-old to be a sexual being. (Show me the study that proves this beyond a reasonable doubt and I'll shut up....*crickets*...yeah, that's what I thought.) Did the student hug the teacher inappropriately? If it made the teacher uncomfortable, the answer would have to be yes. But chances are, he was only replicating something he had done with Mommy at home. The teacher is not Mommy (though she should take it as a compliment if he felt that comfortable around her), so the lesson that should be taught here is, perhaps, that hugging people that way is only reserved for Mommy and not for other people; the lesson should not be that the kid did something so bad that he needs to be isolated from the rest of the school for a day or two. The kid's only going to end up confused, and the adults in charge have overreacted in a big way.

If an adult thinks that the innocent hug of a four-year-old, no matter much it may have hit the wrong target, was done with anything at all sexual in mind, the bigger problem lies with that adult, not with the kid.

This is literally old-school: A school in Edinburgh, Scotland is teaching is students to write with fountain pens instead of a computer keyboard.

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