Colorado boy kisses girl he likes, gets sexual harassment added to file

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CANON CITY, CO -- Hunter Yelton is an energetic first-grader who has a passion for science and P.E., but it's his love of a classmate that now has him labeled as a "sexual harasser."

Hunter's mother, Jennifer Saunders, told CNN affiliate KRDO the Canon City, Colorado, 6-year-old has a crush on a girl in his class. Hunter told KRDO he kissed the student on the hand during reading group. That landed him a two-day suspension from school and an entry of sexual harassment in his school file.

Robin Gooldy, the superintendent of Canon City Schools, told HLN Tuesday that students aren't labeled sexual harassers after the first innocent grade-school kiss, but if unwelcome contact or touching continues, it will be noted in the student's file.

Hunter and his mom admit this isn't the first time Hunter has kissed his classmate. He's been suspended before for kissing the same student on the cheek, but Saunders insists the two are "boyfriend and girlfriend" and that the attention isn't unwelcome. Saunders is outraged that her son has been labeled a "sexual harasser," a label that will stay in his file as long as he is in the Canon City school district.

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

But Gooldy said there are two sides to every story. "Our main interest in this is having the behavior stop because the story is not just about the student that was disciplined, it is also about the student receiving the unwanted advances. We have to think about both students in the situation."

Gooldy told HLN that Hunter's record won't follow him to other school districts, and the discipline will stop as soon as the kissing does.

By Jackie Damico

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

19 comments

    • Tony Smith

      when l was that age l had a girlfriend she was my best friend l played with her all the time……its kind of like two women talking one woman says her and her girlfriend went to lunch ..same context just friends

  • Elizabeth E Peoples

    if i had child this day and age i’d home school them.. it’s just not right need to go back to the 70’s when i was in grade school.

    • Terra Pennington

      Only in school were teachers and superintendent have no common sense. Why not put each child in a little box my themselves and not let them interact with other kids at all. Have these teachers never seen little babies hugging and kissing at one and two years of age. Should day care also label them as “sexual harasser.” What in the world is wrong with our school and the people who run them. My god there was a time when kids could be kids to learn and grow into independent adults and common sense.

    • Helen Lewis

      The school needs a note put in their file with the State. The Principle should be susupended. This is horrible this 6 year old has no idea what he did wrong. To ruin his entire life because of this is down right stupid. All of these people should be fired.

  • Karen C

    well I wouldn’t say they should label him, but he needs to learn not to give unwanted kisses and to say it wasn’t unwanted seem to be putting himself on a path that could lead to a lot worse. NO means NO kid.

  • kay s

    just because the teacher say they are unwanted don’t mean they are there six and probably playing a game i mean come on all kids kiss one another at young ages we where at a docs office the other day and this two year old little boy came up to my 1 1/2 year old niece and he hugged her and then tried to kiss her it is wrong to label a kid that little with that title when all there doing is a kiss on the hand come on it could be worse and you dont know the girl said no you know the teacher seen it and the boy got inn trouble what if she didnt care that he did it i mean hes kissed her before if she dont want it why are they still sitting together and kids are learning things at an earlier age now days then when we where all kids

  • Callie L

    parents kiss their kids. it’s a gesture of love. is that sexual harassment too?
    that’s where children learn to kiss. it doesn’t make them predators, it makes them loving individuals.

  • Hope B

    I agree with you Callie L .. If we with hold that from our children, then they become hardened and not loving. That is the problem with most of the world.. to many people dont love, dont show kindness. If you do , you get into trouble and become a “sexual predator” really!? So all the years past the world was filled with them because thats how the world worked before. Working together, NOT afraid of getting a jail sentence for showing affection to someone. Hugging , a simple kiss, pats on the back… when did that become harassment!? Its sad the world has come to this! My kids always give hugs to strangers when they come to our home, or I speak to them.. At school they hug their friends and we have had no issues, but we live in a small town and its ok and no one complains. We are so lucky to have a small town that still believes in showing love to thy neighbors! It should be that way everywhere! I feel for this kiddo, he has no idea the power that label will have over him when he is older.. So sad :(

    • Dina

      Amen! People and schools take it too far! I just hope it doesn’t give this child a complex and mess him up in the future.

  • OldDude

    “Our main interest in this is having the behavior stop because the story is not just about the student that was disciplined, it is also about the student receiving the unwanted advances. We have to think about both students in the situation.” Hey Gooldy, Google “Spanking” if i recall it prevented repeat offenses pretty well. I realise this might be a new concept for you,, but it actually works.

    • Sara

      Sure. The little girl should be heard. By no means, do we want her to feel like her feelings don’t matter. Tell the little boy that we keep our bodies to ourselves, but to label him as a sexual harasser is ridiculous. He is a child…still learning how to conduct himself in the world. If we are harsh with him, he’ll learn to treat others harshly. The mom is not asking the school to ignore the behavior. She is just asking them to be reasonable.

      Schools really have become void of common sense. I’m not sure that I want schools that can’t be logical and realistic to be involved in my children’s education. I want my children to be able to look at the facts and evaluate based on sense. When schools no longer use sense, they are no longer qualified to teach children.

  • Jenny Reed

    Back in 1969 Dennis Ellis use to kiss me from one hand all the way to the the other from kindergarten through the 2nd grade. I never liked it much but I turned out just fine. He just liked me so much! We probably shouldn’t let our little girls wear such short skirts and leggins to school anymore, too provocative.

  • DG St Louis, MO

    Jennifer, Stand up for Hunter. Simply holding a hand or kissing does not constitute harassment.
    We as a nation seem to be losing our common sense. What has changed over the past several years that made a 6 year old a sexual deviant for kissing the hand of a friend?
    When we idly stand by and let those we appoint to serve us, dictate and stipulate STUPID rules or laws.
    Those of you who think this doesn’t effect you, you are wrong! Americans are becoming drones. Letting the “appointed” tell us: What is right or wrong. How to feel and when to feel. What to say, when and how to say it.
    Rules and laws need to change with the times. That doesn’t mean we should give up our ability to think on your own. When warranted rules or laws should be changed appropriately so the punishment fits the crime.
    We should stand in support of parents that teach their children with loving care. Jennifer should be telling Hunter how proud she is of his loving personality. Not trying to explain sexual harassment.
    What will be the next rules forced upon us?
    In addition: In a class assignment kids were asked to draw a picture of their vacation. A young boy drew a picture of him and his father hunting. The child was also punished and expelled from school. The father was teaching his son responsibility, safety, while having bonding.
    In my opinion some officials are becoming ridiculous with punishments.
    People: Remember the golden rule. Also United We Stand, Divided We Fall.

    God bless Families and America

  • Brittany G. McDonald

    Why would you punish a child in this capacity? How about less punishment and more sexual education (age appropriate). Children should be able to interact, show respect and appreciate one another. Only adults ASSUME children will PERFORM mature acts. They’ve already been stripped of interpersonal communication with all the social media and tablets replacing textbooks. This makes me rethink how i plan to educate my children in the future. Online homeschooling may be a choice instead….sad. Children will lose out on everything because adults forget how to be innocent. Adults will kill what innocence is left after mainstream media has taken it away. This is such a harsh world to live in. Poor decision making.

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