Colorado first-grader suspended for kissing classmate's hand

COLORADO SPRINGS, Co. - A Colorado mother is fighting to have her six-year-old's school record expunged after the boy was suspended for sexual harassment after kissing a classmate's hand.

"It was during class, yeah. We were doing reading group. And I leaned over and kissed her on the hand. That's what happened," said six-year-old Hunter Yelton. "I did something wrong. They sent me to the office, fair and square. I feel sorry."

"She was fine with it…the other children saw it and went to the music teacher. That was the day I had the meeting with the principal, where she first said 'sexual harassment,'" said Hunter's mom, Jennifer Saunders. "This is taking it to an extreme that doesn't need to be met with a six-year-old. Now my son is asking questions, 'what is sex, mommy?' It should not ever be said, sex, in a sentence with a six-year-old."

Both Hunter and his mom admit he's had some trouble at school in the past. He's been suspended for rough-housing and for kissing the same girl on the cheek.

"We've been working with him with the classroom disruption. He was grounded for awhile. Big restrictions," Saunders said.

The superintendent at School District RE-1 said Hunter's record will remain within the district and that Hunter's actions fit the school policy description of sexual harassment.

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

A child clinical psychologist said it is normal for six-year-old boys to try to kiss girls. She believes suspending him, and calling the kiss "sexual harassment," sends mixed messages to kids. She said it would have been better for the school to use it as a learning opportunity.


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