Call me cynical, but something tells me if this 9-year-old boy had a crush on a male classmate, the administration of his school in Hillsborough, Fla., would be praising his actions as adorable.
But as the object of his affectation is a girl, the fourth-grade boy is in hot water, facing threats of sexual harassment charges.
Tampa NBC affiliate WPTV notes that the child, whose name is being withheld, passed this love note to a girl in his class:
In the note, his mother says, he commented on “how she wears the same uniform and how her eyes sparkled like diamonds,” which sounds precocious but not prurient. That prurience was provided by his classmates, who teased him about wanting to see the little girl naked.
But that wasn’t what had the school district up in arms. In fact, the salacious nature of the taunts seem not to have registered with officials. Their beef was that the child sent more than one note and that the notes were “unwanted,” which, they maintain, borders on harassment.
Says the boy’s mother:
[T]he principal proceeded to tell me that it wasn’t appropriate that he was writing the note and that if he writes another note, they are going to file sexual harassment charges on my 9-year-old.
The station spoke with Valerie McClain, a Tampa psychologist, who said, “It may be something he thought was very sweet and innocent” — implying it wasn’t. She added:
What needs to happen is education needs to be provided about how to relate to this young girl or how to stay away from talking to her, if that’s the goal.
With all due respect to the good doctor, human beings have been successfully rehearsing the mating ritual for several millennia now without formalized instruction.
If children need anything these days, it’s to be left alone by overzealous bureaucrats and spared the idiocy of zero tolerance.
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