A 9-year-old boy has been disciplined by the school principal and threatened with legal action for writing an “unwanted” love note to a classmate, according to the boy’s mother.
The note in question appears to be innocent, containing words like “I like you” written inside a heart, and “I like your eyes because they sparkle like diamonds.”
The mother, of Tampa, Fla., who has asked not to be identified in an effort to protect her son, told WPTV that a principal in the Hillsborough County Public School District informed her the school would file “sexual harassment charges” against the boy if he writes another note. “What little kid doesn’t write love notes?” his mother asked.
(Photo: ABC Action News)
ABC Action News reported that a district administrator said the boy had written more than one note, and that the notes were “unwanted,” and therefore border on sexual harassment. The district has a policy discouraging students from passing notes because they can be disruptive in a classroom.
Kristi Davisson, a Tampa attorney with children in the Hillsborough School District, tells Yahoo Parenting, “I’m disappointed that the authorities chose to take such a heavy handed approach, if, in fact, they did. I’d be surprised if any law enforcement officer or prosecutor’s office would take legal action.”
But some of the other students reportedly escalated the situation by taunting the boy and saying that he wanted to see the girl naked, and it was at that point that the principal stepped in.
“The district has had a huge push to stop bullying,” says Davisson. “Now they may have allowed this child to become a victim of it.”
Davisson believes that if the district pursues legal action, the boy and his family just might have grounds for a countersuit. “But if [these reports are] all true, everything has reached the point of absurdity,” she says.
Meanwhile, the mother told WPTV that her son doesn’t understand what he did wrong. “My 9-year-old doesn’t even know what sexual harassment means,” she said.
(Top photo: Andhika Yauwry/EyeEm/Getty Images)