I don’t normally write about what I read about in the news but something I read earlier this morning really has me riled up and shouting from my soapbox:
I read this article about two middle school boys that were arrested for slapping other kids (specifically girls) on the hiney. They said that they didn’t mean anything by it.
I say, good for the school district for pressing charges!
Any of my former students can recite verbatim my major, A-number-one rule:
According to the article, the boys said the hiney slapping was common … “everybody” did it … a way to say hello … akin to a friendly handshake.
A HANDSHAKE??!? Puh–leeze!
I don’t see how that particular school had allowed the hiney slapping to continue without intervening before the two boys were arrested. Or perhaps the administration was working on curtailing this issue when the sexual harassment outcry was made and that is why the district decided to take such a heavy hand in the matter.
If that school is anything like my school, the students had been warned ad nauseum about appropriate and inappropriate touching before the outcry & arrests were made.
The boys “didn’t mean anything by it.” They’re afraid they’ll be forced to register as sex offenders and that label will stick with them for the rest of their lives. Their parents are devastated. Their attorneys say that they are bright young boys with a bright future ahead of them.
The possible punishment may be extreme in the eyes of many.
Sometimes “extreme” is the only thing that will grab a kid’s attention.
I have a page on my district website dedicated to the difference between flirting and sexual harassment. I have the same material posted in my classroom. Click here if you would like to see what my students see everyday when they walk into my room.