(CNN) — 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 HLN 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.