First grader suspended and labeled sexual harasser over kiss

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(CNN) — Hunter Yelton is an energetic first-grader who has a passion for science and P.E., but it’s his love of a classmate that now has him labeled as a “sexual harasser.”

Hunter’s mother, Jennifer Saunders, told HLN affiliate KRDO the Canon City, Colorado, 6-year-old has a crush on a girl in his class. Hunter told KRDO he kissed the student on the hand during reading group.

The action landed him a two-day suspension from school and an entry of sexual harassment in his school file.

Robin Gooldy, the superintendent of Canon City Schools, told HLN Tuesday that students aren’t labeled sexual harassers after the first innocent grade-school kiss, but if unwelcome contact or touching continues, it will be noted in the student’s file.

Hunter and his mom admit this isn’t the first time Hunter has kissed his classmate. He’s been suspended before for kissing the same student on the cheek, but Saunders insists the two are “boyfriend and girlfriend” and that the attention isn’t unwelcome. Saunders is outraged that her son has been labeled a “sexual harasser,” a label that will stay in his file as long as he is in the Canon City school district.

“How can you do this? How can you say this about my child? Remove sexual harassment, remove it from his record. I’m going to stand up and fight for him because that’s not the case, that’s not what happened at all,” Saunders told KRDO.

But Gooldy said there are two sides to every story. “Our main interest in this is having the behavior stop because the story is not just about the student that was disciplined, it is also about the student receiving the unwanted advances. We have to think about both students in the situation.”

Gooldy told HLN that Hunter’s record won’t follow him to other school districts, and the discipline will stop as soon as the kissing does.


  • Judy Smith

    This has got to be on the top 10 list of STUPID things schools do. Really Sexual harassment at 6 years old? GET a grip, its childs play it not sexual harassment.

    I hope the mom does not back down and gets that removed.

  • shana

    yeah but there is two sides to every story. I am sure the mother of the little girl is very upset. First grade they shouldnt have no boyfriend or girlfriend. I tell my first grader all the time your to little to call yourselves that an do not put your hands on no girl meaning touching her anywhere because it can get you in trouble these schools dont play about sexual harrasment. You can say something an it be the samething. I can seee why mom is mad but she got to look at it from two sides. Because what if her son as the victim? She would wanna know why nothing is being done about it.

  • scars

    Maybe if she sat her son down and told him that the behavior had to stop and punished him herself if it didn’t, she wouldn’t have to worry about her son being noted as a sexual harasser. While I do think it is dumb to use that type of label for a first grader because there is nothing sexual about it at that age — he is still breaking a rule. Had this been his first offense I could see being outraged. But he keeps doing it and until his parents support the school and reinforce that the behavior should stop — he will keep on doing it. Especially with his mom complaining that what he is doing is no big deal. If he can’t control himself in first grade — what will his behavior be like in high school? And what about the parents of the little girl? Maybe they do not want their daughter being distracted by a boy his kisses her all the time. And I bet you money that if a little boy kept kissing her son on the hand, she would change her tune in a heartbeat and wouldn’t be so quick to defend it as consensual.

  • Pat Wilson

    This kid is being harassed by people who don’t know how to teach but know how to bully. Remember that all this talk about bullies in school…well know where they went…they became teachers. Give them silly rules to enforce…clip boards to carry…and they become “Bullies”. Not to mention dumber than a box load of rocks…..

  • Lee Hall

    This was an innocent act by an innocent child. Suspending this child for this act of love is by far one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. Try suspending the bullies if they have such a need to persecute little children.

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