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.

Overstepping ‘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.

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.

More on Mouths of Mums


  • This is a disgrace. To burden a child with adult labels is just apalling and damaging to this child who will already be struggling to fit in and to understand due to his autism. What happened to kindness, understanding, helping children. Instead, this school is setting this child and family up for more heartache and pain.


  • Wow political correctness taken to ridiculous heights


  • Either there is a lot more to the story or this is an over reaction


  • Yes definitely over reacting, how sad for this child, what has the world come to.


  • Poor kid.They always hugged loved ones.

    • I agree. I even taught my kids when they were little to look each other in the eye when saying sorry and give each other a hug !


  • It’s very Shocking wonder what else made the teachers think he was a predator


  • I can’t believe a teacher/school would think that that was in anyway sexual, and should take a long hard loom at themselves, what is wrong with them? I thought that’s what all young children do with their friends, I remember when my son was little, he and his friends all did this, and would often walk around with an arm around each other at school. I think the education department and the CPS in the USA needs to wake up and take a long look at their policies.


  • Thats so wrong on so many levels. It was just a hug and kiss on the cheek.


  • A huge overreaction!


  • Utterly ridiculous. Autism or no what five year old would understand sexual behaviour and what that is? Kids should be able to show harmless affection to each other.


  • that is utterly stupid. What is this world coming to. You can;t even give a friend a hug and be classes a .‘sexual predator’ Why don’t they look out for the real ones, So gooders have done so much damage/


  • Definitely overreacting.


  • oh nooo… hugs are normal things that kids do!! Jeez!


  • This makes me so sad. Something as innocent as I hug and a kiss or a five-year-old should not be seen as him being a sexual predator. I really hope this gets sorted out soon because no five-year-old needs to be made to feel guilty for giving a cuddle


  • Just for hugging and kissing another child? Unbelievable. How can they even think of pressing charges??


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