Thomas Law Firm Call us today at (678) 264-8348
Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Attorney Profile Personal Injury Contact Us
Find out about the benefits of having former insurance defense attorneys on your side Learn about our contingency fees Have you been injured? Get a free case evaluation today

Sexual Harassment or Political Correctness Out of Control: Part II

In Part One of "Sexual Harassment or Political Correctness out of Control," the case of the seventeen-year-old Georgia student suspended from school for a year for hugging his teacher was discussed. In Part Two, one controversial case burning up social media will be looked at in terms of whether it is actually sexual harassment, or political correctness gone horribly wrong: on December 9, 2013, a six year old Colorado boy was suspended from school for approximately one week for sexual harassment. He had kissed a little girl on the hand.

A little context might help. Both children are in first grade together. The boy, Hunter Yelton, has had disciplinary issues in the past with respect to classroom disruption (Hunter self-reports having a lot of energy). His mother, Jennifer Saunders, admits that Hunter was previously suspended for kissing the same little girl on the cheek. The school district claims that Hunter's actions fit the school policy description of sexual harassment.

But do they? If we look at Hunter's behavior toward his six year old sweetheart against the rubric established for sexual harassment claims, we find the following:

  1. Was Hunter's kiss unwanted?
  2. Was Hunter's kiss sexual or related to the sex or gender of the person?
  3. Did the kiss occur in the context of a relationship where one person has more more formal or informal power than the other?

The key to answering the above inquiries is that the answers must be from the perspective of the recipient: in this case, a six-year-old little girl from whom we have yet to hear regarding these issues. Fortunately common sense prevailed as the school district ultimately dropped the sexual harassment charges after public outcry on various social media sources.

Admittedly, Hunter's kiss to the little girl was not an isolated event; he had been suspended on a prior occasion for kissing her on the cheek. But what we do not know is if the little girl told Hunter to stop kissing her or if she complained about the behavior to a teacher, her parents, or anyone. Even then, labeling what might be inappropriate behavior as sexual harassment begs the very meaning of the offense, which as pointed out in Part One, is about asserting power over someone. Can a six year old's kisses to another six year old's hand and cheek be said to be a way to assert power and achieve intimidation over that person?

The debate over Political Correctness gone wild vs. Zero Tolerance Policies in schools for a variety of sensitive issues rages on. In many cases--a pastry bitten into the (claimed) shape of a gun at a school lunch; a tiny toy soldier with a tiny toy knife brought to school in a child's pocket--suspension seems like a harsh punishment, and common sense seems to have no place in the discussion any longer. We want our schools to protect our children, but not to target them unfairly.

At Thomas Law Firm, we put common sense back into the process, and help you as parents make sure that the rights of your children are not violated under the school policies formulated to protect your children. Contact Thomas Law Firm for a free consultation by your Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer today.

AV Peer Review Rated View our Avvo profile Find us on Lawyers.com Member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
Attorney Web Design

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create,and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Thomas Law Firm
Located at 945 East Paces Ferry Road, Resurgens Plaza, GA 30326.

Phone: (678) 264-8348.
Website: .