I saw this rather amusing, yet disturbing article from the Washington Post a week back on Drudge concerning the supposed sexual harassment of one student by a fellow student who is six years old. That’s right, six years old. What exactly did he do? Nothing. It’s what he said to his fellow female student.
“I’m sexy and I know it.” quoting a line from that pop/hip hop sensation LMFAO. The schools policy regarding lyrics such as these expressed at school is quite rigid.
School officials issued a statement saying they couldn’t discuss the case, but they pointed out a school board policy that defines sexual harassment as any unwelcome sexual advance. There is no age limit.
From my perspective, this is quite interesting. Philosophically or at least specifically in the matter of jurisprudence, I strive to be a kind of “All or none of the above guy” concerning actions and speech. However, this isn’t a legal matter where exceptions make for bad law. School policy with no flexibility where six year olds are concerned is disturbing.
What does this tell us about the relationship between modern culture and the middle-school and younger children? Apparently, they are now quite aware of what sex is at their age, as well as what constitutes sexual harassment. No tolerance policy means no tolerance. Even though the school is obviously going to need to take another, much closer look at their sexual harassment policies, they probably aren’t too off in setting policy that will be effective for the future. Just imagine the lawsuits that are about to take place concerning every possible angle of this policy, sexual harassment in general, and the money certain lawyers are about to make.
Believe it or not, young kids these days, and I’m talking about your 7-10 year olds have a pretty good idea of what “sex is” thanks to our over-sexed culture. The self-proclaimed 7 year old on 4chan isn’t too far from gaining a very deep understand of the concept of sex, and I’m pretty sure the 10 year old on xbox live threatening to doggystyle my mom after a loss in Modern Warfare 3 has a pretty good idea about the topic now. I used to think they were just spouting insults they had heard, but more and more, the innocent nature you want to believe is there has been forcibly perverted. I’m personally going to blame Glee for this growing epedemic, but there’s plenty of blame to go around.
South Park has yet again called this issue way in advance with the most effective and humorous commentary about “sexual harassment” in schools. In fact, they called this over 10 years ago. Witty, raunchy, over-the-top, but the points made are note worthy.
Seriously, why it is so hard to distinguish between actual sexual harassment and a six year old who doesn’t know what sex is? The waste of tax-payer dollars both through lawsuits and misspent “education” budgets, rash and under-thought policies by school boards, and reputation/avoidance of bad publicity isn’t just going to plague our schools in the near future, it’s going to scar kids like we never could have anticipated.
Instead of calling for some sort of regulatory or further oversight from some educational Czar, we need to encourage accountability in a much more important and close fashion. The only real solution is for communities to come together and address these issues themselves. Perhaps stories like this, and the numerous that will undoubtedly occur will cause school boards and their perspective teacher’s unions to finally realize the impact of not letting parents have a substantial say in determining their own schools policy. It seems only a matter of common sense that if you are paying tax dollars into a district, you should at least have a say in the policy and in how those funds are spent. Radical, huh?