A 9-year-old boy North Carolina boy was suspended for calling a teacher “cute,” WSOCTV.com reports.
The boy’s mother, Chiquita Lockett, said the principal of Brookside Elementary in Gastonia called her after the incident to say the comment was a form of “sexual harassment.”
"It's not like he went up to the woman and tried to grab her or touch her in a sexual way," Lockett said. "So why would he be suspended for two days?”
According to the station, a district spokeswoman said she could not go into detail, but said the boy was suspended for "inappropriate behavior" after making "inappropriate statements."
The district's Code of Conduct doesn't list "inappropriate behavior," but says "disruption of school" is punishable by five days of out-of-school suspension.
The news of the North Carolina boy’s suspension comes as a Massachusetts elementary school is investigating a first-grader for sexual harassment after the boy struck another boy his age in the groin.
The mother of the accused 7-year-old tells the Boston Globe that her son was fending off another child, who had choked him in an altercation on the school bus on Nov. 22.
“I think my kid was right to fight back,’’ said the mother, Tasha Lynch, 30. “He wasn’t doing anything except protecting himself.’’
Lynch says her son has been afraid to return to Tynan Elementary School in South Boston since the fight, according to the paper.
Matthew Wilder, spokesman for the Boston public schools, declined to comment on the incident or why it has been classified as a possible case of sexual harassment. He said officials do not discuss confidential student information.