Last week, 9-yr-old Emanyea Lockett of Brookside Elementary in North Carolina was allegedly suspended for calling a teacher “cute.” He and his mother claimed the boy made the comment to a friend, which was overheard and reported by another teacher.
It's not like he went up to the woman and tried to grab her or touch her in a sexual way,” said his mother Chiquita Lockett, reported WSOC-TV.
The online reaction to this claim was decidedly negative. Most of the comments were in the tune of “this is an example of PC policies taken to their end,” in the words of a commenter on The Blaze.
“Forcing children to be PC at the whim of a teacher, is not only a denial of the child's freedom of speech, IMNSHO it is child abuse!” wrote a commenter on the Daily Mail.
“Schools are going so overboard these days with this zero tolerance policy. Their is nothing sexual about saying a female teacher is cute... and I doubt a female student of the same age would have gotten in any trouble for making similar remarks,” posted a user on Reddit.
A poll take taken by The Blaze showed that 69 percent of its readers thought the school overstepped “its authority” in suspending Emanyea Lockett.
The school, however, sent a letter the Chiquita Lockett and disputed the account that the younger Lockett merely called a teacher “cute.”
“As [the teacher] walked by, [Emanyea] stated, ‘she is fine’ in a suggestive tone,” the letter read.
“Once in the office he changed his story to state that he said she was cute,” according to the letter.
The document also claimed Emanyea has been accused of calling other students “n-----s” and “b----.” It warned “similar or worse” suggestive comments in the future could lead to a 5 to 10 day suspension.
The letter claims Emanyea was suspended from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2.
Earlier in December, the Boston Globe reported that a Boston elementary school was “investigating a 7-year-old first-grader for sexual harassment after he struck another boy his age in the groin.”