National Post

Page URL: http://www.nationalpost.com/news.asp?f=000516/290225

Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Six-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment
National Post

CANTON, Ohio - A six-year-old has been suspended from school for sexual harassment after he jumped out of the bath and ran naked to the window to stop a school bus.

His mother said the boy was barred from school for three days and forced to sign a paper saying he knew the nature of the charges against him.

"He doesn't understand all that," she said. "All he knows is that he missed a school field trip."

Steve LoDico, a lawyer working on the case for free, has filed an appeal with the school board.

"A very innocent thing happened," he said. "Now we have a six-year-old boy being suspended from school who didn't even understand why. All he knew was that this was his first school field trip ever, and he wasn't going to get to go. That broke the little boy's heart."

The mother said her son was disappointed that he was going to miss the long-awaited school trip to Amish country because of a doctor's appointment. "I put him in the tub so he wouldn't see the bus" when it arrived to pick up her daughter, she explained.

But unfortunately the daughter called out when the bus arrived and her brother heard her. He scrambled out of the tub and ran to the window to yell for the bus not to leave.

According to the school district, the child stood naked "in front of the window and exposed himself to the children on the bus, put his hands in the air and danced around."

Mr. LoDico said parents of the child's fellow students have said the school "blew the incident way out of proportion."

Both children are now attending another school, but the boy's mother said she is appealing the charge against her child because the family was humiliated by the accusation.

Copyright © Southam Inc. "National Post Online is a production of Southam Inc., Canada's largest publisher of daily newspapers."