Wow, this school seems to have completely blown this incident out of proportion. A 5-year-old boy has been accused of being a ‘sexual predator’ for giving his classmate an innocent hug.
Teachers say that Nathan, who is in Kindergarten, overstepped his boundaries. But his family says that their son has autism, which can make it difficult for him to understand social cues and that the whole incident is a big misunderstanding.
Nathan’s guardian, Summery Putnam, said she received a phone call from her son’s teacher at East Ridge Elementary in Chattanooga, Tenessee, to say that she had to have a talk to Nathan about boundaries.
Putnam said the teacher accused her son of sexual activities after she was told he hugged a child and kissed another child on the cheek, as reported in ABC7WJLA
“I was sick to my stomach,” Putnam said “If you don’t understand how autism works, you’ll think he’s acting out or being difficult. But, that’s not the situation,” she continued.
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The principal says the school staff has talked with him many times and that the school has filed a report with the state.
What Can I Do?
Debi Amick, Nathan’s grandmother, posted in a private Facebook post:
“What do you do when a 5 year child is being labeled a sexual predator and accused of sexual harassment by the school system? It was disclosed that it will go in his record for the rest of his life that he is a sex offender. This child is autistic, he comprehends and functions very different than your typical 5 year. What do you do? Who do you turn to for help when the school will not even listen to the child’s doctor when he explains the child’s difficulties in his comprehension of simple things such as boundaries. If anyone can offer advice or help please do. Please feel free to comment or pm me”
“He shouldn’t be treated like this. The kid doesn’t even understand what sex is,” Amick continued.
Tim Hensley, a spokesperson for the Hamilton County Department of Education, said in a statement:
“School personnel are required to report concerns regarding children to the Department of Child Services (DCS). It’s up to DCS to determine if those reports are acted on by DCS and what form those actions may take. ”
Putnam says her son has now switched classrooms and teachers and is enrolled in special education services.
Do you think the school is overreacting? Tell us in the comments below.
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