My 6th grader was almost suspended from school!

  1. I just got off the phone with the principal of my son's school. First, I JUST got a call on Monday from the principal commending my son for being so cooperative as a witness to some other mischief, but this time? He almost got suspended because of touching a girl inappropriately? WHAT???? He's 11 and 5 months and is SOOOOO not there, so what happened?

    Well... two weeks ago in after school chess club my son was collecting other people's name tags and it seems he was just ripping them off people's shirts and putting them on his at the end of the session. Well, this one girl complained that my son touched her chest to get it and my son got reprimanded (I didn't know this). A week later and with this SAME girl in his Gifted and talented classroom (he's in full time GT) he reached across her to snatch a paper out of her hand as she was handing them out. In reaching across her body, his arm hit upon her chest. Then today, this is what got him sent to the principal. SAME girl (who he sits next to in class) and this time he is leaning down to pick up a paper clip under the girl's seat. He grabbed the seat with one hand (probably to steady himself) and looked under the chair for it. While doing so, his hand touched her butt. So... he was brought to the office for a talking to.

    Now... my son is not perfect, but he's a VERY clumsy 11 year old and is just going through getting help for ADHD which his school knows. Now, HOW???? is this sexual touching and how does this come THIIIIISSSSS close to suspending a child? I could tell that the principal felt like he was between a rock and a hard place because he has my son (who he can tell is just not aware of what he's doing as not appropriate) and this girl (and probably her mother) to deal with. He has to be able to tell the mother that he is dealing with the situation appropriately to satisfy the other side.

    But I have to wonder... why is this girl so jumpy??? It makes me wonder if someone has touched her inappropriately before and thus she is overreacting? I know my son should keep his hands to himself and with the name tag thing, he should know not to grab someone's item off their body, but to reach across someone and accidentally hit their chest? (and the teacher saw this and said it didn't look like he was grabbing for a boob) and to call grabbing a chair for support inappropriate sexual touching???? WHAT???

    I GET IT that they need to be careful for inappropriate touching and I get it that it's his word against hers, but still!!!! Now I have to worry for the rest of the school year about him accidentally touching ANYONE and my son is a klutz and also with ADHD tends to do before thinking!! UGH!!!! that would be on his school record forever as a sexual reprimand with a suspension!!!! it didn't go that far and I think the principal would feel bad about doing it, but that it was even MENTIONED is beyond me!!!

    Am I wrong in this???
     
  2. Same-sex education has it's pluses.
     
  3. I would wonder about this as well. While your son may not have intended to touch the girl, he did, and now the girl and her mother are upset. I would make sure his seat is moved as far from this girl as possible, and unfortunately, in today's world, your son needs to know that there are people out there who will misinterpret anything - a touch, words, joke, etc. I wish you the best with this.
     
  4. Well, now I've heard more about this too. Seems (and now the principal did say it wasn't touching the chest when reaching across "but invading her personal space"). Seems the girl was taunting my son with a paper that belonged to him and then he snatched it. He didn't touch her, but "invaded her personal space" by snatching it. For the other incident, she initially said that my son was feeling under her butt for it and then later changed it to "he just touched it when looking on the floor." OMG!!!!

    So, I told my son that I'm not mad at him about being called to the principal's office, but that we needed to learn from this and what did he learn. At least he learned that he needs to keep his hands to himself. But he started crying when he said that she taunts him and is mean and what is he supposed to do when she has something of his? I said, "tell the teacher." and he appropriately said, "but then I'm ratting on her and other kids will get after me." And, he's right. So, I gave the "ignore her" talk. Just ignore people's teasing and taunts and they'll tire of it and drop it. He still doesn't get that!!! GRRRR...

    I also said, "You now know that this girl is trouble and stay away" and I'll talk with the teacher to be sure they stay away.

    I mean, these are things he needs to learn, but to call it sexual harassment is going to far!!! Why not also teaching the girl that making false accusations is also bad?

    I worked in residence life for over ten years and was the role of the Prinicpal (hearing all sides and needing to make decisions on how to handle conflict) so I KNOW how it goes, but it's not just my son who needed to learn from this and you BETCHA we would have fought any formal reprimand, but I do think the principal was saying "don't make me go there because I could, so please work with me here" talk... done that one myself.

    Poor kid... but maybe he'll think a bit more about what he does (and meds would help for the ADHD!)
     
  5. I think the school has to do what ever they can to make sure they protect themselves. What you see is one thing and what the girl and her parents see is another. If no action was taken then it would be 100 times worse for everyone. Sad, but if it was a girl who did what your son innocently did there would be no complaints, ect.....
    I wish you the best. I hope your son is OK and not stressed out.
     
  6. totally agree:yes: read a fascinating Newsweek article on it. . . sorry OT :shame
     
  7. There's always more to the story. You talked to your son and warned him. Hopefully he learned a lesson from this incident. As for the girl, if there is nobody guiding her in the right direction she will end up falsely accusing the wrong person and will pay the price - but that's on her and hers, not you. I hope your son is able to avoid this girl, she sounds like trouble.
     
  8. What everyone said:

    1)same sex schools are a great invention
    2)there may be issues with the girl that need to be looked into (hopefully not)
    3)schools do this because there ARE issues with children who cross the line. They have to have these policies. Your son got pulled into it and hopefully will be more careful, considering how easily it apparently is to get into trouble due to these policies.


    It's a different world and a very scary one since I was 11.
     
  9. the reason I could be pro-same sex classes has nothing to do w/ this, but because boys learn SO much differently the girls.
    The article showed that girls often get less one on one time w/ teachers because teachers have to keep the boys focused and on task. . . boys need to move more and at a young age tend to have shorter attention spans than girls.
     
  10. When my DS was in 6th grade, I had a similar call from the assistant principal. He wouldn't really tell me what had happened, all he would say was that DS did something inappropriate in class, the teacher reported him, and "Luckily the girl decided not to press charges for sexual harassment." When I asked specifically what happened, all he said was that I'd have to ask DS. WTF?

    As you might imagine, the three hours between that call and the end of school were enough time for all sorts of possibilities to run through my head. When I finally talked to DS, it turned out to be pretty minor -- he had been goofing off with his friends in class, and he did a little Michael-Jackson dance, complete with the famous crotch-grab. His OWN crotch. Now, I agree that this was completely inappropriate in class, but...sexual harassment?

    I know there are two sides to every story, and I didn't feel like I was getting the whole thing, so I called the teacher who had reported him. The teacher admitted that it wasn't a big deal, and that he wouldn't even have reported it, except that he'd already had to ask DS to sit down and be quiet once already. As for the sexual harassment, he only said he saw that one of the girls in class had been "upset" by it. It turned out that this was the same girl who told DS every day on the school bus that he's going to burn in hell because he isn't Christian.:cursing:

    DS got "in-school suspension" for a day or two, and I impressed upon him that it was the wrong thing to do in class, with or without the crotch-grab. I explained about how easily some things can be misconstrued as sexual harassment - even goofy things - and that it's always better to be on the safe side and not do it if it's even remotely questionable. I also advised him to stay away from the girl, and to just ignore her rude comments.
     
  11. Sounds like this girl is passive-aggressive and knows how to taunt your DS. Have you asked the teacher to separate them and have him sit on the opposite side of the room?
     
  12. I'm so sorry about this. I have absolutely no advice, but there is one thing I wanted to say.

    When I was in primary school, an 11 year old boy kept molesting me. Honest to God, we were the same age, and I was an idiot. I just let him. I was too scared to tell anyone. He literally put his hand up my skirt and touched my thighs. And get this, when I was 12, this 10 year old kid comes up and touches me between my legs. He was expelled, but he was 10! My God!

    So age doesn't really matter anymore when it comes to sexual harassment. I am not saying anything about your son whatsoever, but just age really doesn't matter any more in a general sense. The school was a small school, so I saw both their parents and they were both rather respectable people, so I don't quite know why they ended up like that.