published Monday, December 19th, 2011

Painful grade-school lesson on 'sexual harassment'

It is obviously worthwhile to promote respect among students for their schoolteachers. Learning is difficult, after all, if students are undisciplined and disrespectful in the classroom.

But doesn't it seem a bit absurd to you that an elementary school principal in Gaston County, N.C., suspended a 9-year-old for "sexual harassment" after the boy allegedly called a teacher "cute"?

We don't deny that such talk is a bit impertinent and should be discouraged. Perhaps it even deserved some form of correction.

But has our society become so politically correct that schools actually see "sexual harassment" in a saucy -- though certainly not vulgar -- remark by a fourth-grader to his teacher?

Fortunately for the student, the ridiculous sexual harassment claim was eventually dropped, and the suspension, which he had already served, will not be kept on his record.

Meanwhile, the principal who leveled the sexual harassment claim apparently was offered the option of resigning or being demoted. He chose to resign.

Don't our public schools have enough problems in terms of students' serious misbehavior and lack of academic achievement that they really shouldn't be turning relatively innocent remarks into grounds for accusing young children of "harassment"?

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