School Drops Sexual Harassment Claim Against 6-Year-Old

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(Photo Credit: KRDO video still via CNN)

(CNN) — Amid a tidal wave of negative publicity, a Colorado school system has let a 6-year-old boy return to school and said it won’t classify his kissing a girl on the hand as sexual harassment.

The story of first-grader Hunter Yelton made national news and spurred outrage this week after word spread that his school near Colorado Springs suspended him for the kiss and accused him of sexually harassing the girl.

On Wednesday night, CNN affiliate KRDO reported that Canon City Schools Superintendent Robin Gooldy met with Hunter’s parents. The superintendent then changed Hunter’s disciplinary offense from “sexual harassment” to “misconduct.”

The boy has also returned to school.

An innocent crush

The boy’s mother, Jennifer Saunders, told KRDO the whole thing stemmed from an innocent crush Hunter had on a girl in the class. He kissed her on the hand during reading group. That landed him a two-day suspension from school and an entry of sexual harassment in his school files.

Saunders admitted Hunter had problems at school before, getting suspended for rough-housing and for kissing the same girl on the cheek.

But the label of sexual harasser outraged her.

“This is taking it to an extreme that doesn’t need to be met with a 6-year-old,” Saunders told the station “Now my son’s asking questions, ‘What is sex, mommy?'”

Negative response

Reaction online to Hunter’s story was swift, with the majority of commenters expressed pure outrage.

Gooldy, the superintendent of Canon City Schools, told HLN on 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, he said.

He said the school system had to look at all sides of the 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,” he said.

–By Lateef Mungin, CNN


  • sngr4u2nv

    You can discipline without labeling him as a sex offender so to speak this was nothing more than an innocent crush and hearts going pitter patter and now he’s being accused of horrible things he doesn’t understand teach boundaries not hatred, respect not intollerance because in the end love always wins he’s being treated like a criminal and it’s inexcusable

    • Judy

      I totally agree with you – this is an innocent thing and for what that school did to that little boy is horrific. He does not even need to have in his file “misconduct” … shame on that school!!!

      • pondering

        in and of itself it’s innocent. Reading what he has done previously, to the same girl, makes me wonder what the parents have – or haven’t said to him about his conduct.

        He’s 6. This behavior is a bit, well, “older”. If his path isn’t changed, he can be heading down the one that was just changed by the school.

        I’m wondering how the little girl, and her parents, feel about it.

      • pondering

        Ah, and there it is. How does the mother of the girl feel? The mother “says the school did the right thing.” “that the school district did a “great job” protecting her daughter from repeated harassment from the boy” You can read about it on ch5’s site (sorry Fox, but you do have to give both sides to not seem biased, let alone to present the facts).

  • Janet Lingel Aldrich

    I wonder how two innocent kisses qualify as “harassment” from a 6-year-old (and exactly how “old” he is isn’t a matter of age … some kids are old at 4 and some take longer to “age”)? You don’t know this boy and you’re ready to draw and quarter him — and you also don’t know what the girl or her mother are like. It’s possible to overreact!

    • James Deal


  • D.

    Maybe these kids need to get a bit tougher. All the kids use to chase each other and try to kiss them- cooties! Then the kissee would chase the kisser and tackle them- good times!

  • Jason Basinger

    If Fox 8 would bother to tell the whole story it would be a miracle! This boy has been doing this for a long time and won’t stop harassing this particular girl. It seems as though the mother of the boy wants to make light of what the boy is doing. The little girl has been complaining about it over and over again. It may seem to be a bit extreme to “label him” as many are saying but something needs to happen to get this boys parents to realize that this is a serious problem and can lead to being a bigger problem! This boy needs some counseling along with his parents and he needs some strong discipline to understand you don’t act this way and especially since this has been an on going problem!

    They took the sexual harassment off his record but what do you want them to do if he doesn’t correct this behavior? Address the fact that he has been in trouble for this numerous times before! I worked for a public school system and have had to deal with improper conduct out of kindergartens before – and I mean EXTREMELY WRONG SEXUAL CONDUCT!!! Much of this inappropriate behavior is learned at home and can lead to much more serious problems.

    Something more needs to be done!

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