First grader suspended for sexual harassment

A 6-year-old boy was punished for allegedly touching a female classmate inappropriately.

Published February 8, 2006 8:02PM (EST)

A Massachusetts first grader was suspended last week for sexual harassment after he allegedly slipped two fingers inside a female classmates waistband, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

The 6-year-old boy was suspended for three days from Downey Elementary School in Brockton. School officials declined to comment on the case because of the childs age, but spokeswoman Cynthia McNally told the AP, "They would have not suspended the child without doing an investigation."

The boys mother is outraged and says that her son has no concept of what sexual harassment is.

This punishment for what is often shrugged off as childhood play might seem extreme, but I also have memories of shockingly aggressive and precocious fellow classmates -- both male and female -- at that age. Of course, its difficult to speculate on this case without further details of the incident. In general, though, does suspension deliver a necessary message about harassment, or is there a better solution?

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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