School Must Reconsider Label for Five Year Old

By on July 23, 2014
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Teachers have a responsibility to guide their students and nurture them into mature men and women. Administrators must help students if they suffer problems at school, home, or personally. Schools are supposedly a safe place for students. Sadly, the days when schools actually helped students are fading quickly.

At Ashton Ranch Elementary School in Arizona, five year old Eric Lopez has been charged with sexual misconduct after he pulled his pants and underwear down on the playground. In April, Eric Lopez “pulled down his pants at Ashton Rancher Elementary School after another student threatened him” to do so, or the other student would do so for him (huffingtonpost.com).

Lopez was brought into the office and forced to sign a note saying he committed a sexual misconduct. He could have had a parent there with him, but he was not aware of this fact, nor was he informed. School policy states a parent may only be present if a child asks for one. When Lopez’s mother found out about it, she was upset and asked for the school to change the mark. The school, however, is refusing to do so.

“He did not know that he could ask for me,’ Eric’s mother, Erica Martinez, told KTVK. ‘He’s 5,” (lasvegas.cbslocal.com) Martinez said, and she is completely right.

No five year old is going to truly know what sex is, so they couldn’t intentionally commit sexual misconduct. He was just being a kid when he pulled down his pants; young children act out in many ways that would be inappropriate for older kids and adults to do, simply because they do not know better.

If someone went up to a five year old to start talking to them about sex, chances are the parents would slap them, and said person would possible get a criminal charge. Martinez’s attempts to get the misnomer dropped have failed thus far “and the school district feels justified” (inquisitor.com).

This is not a simple detention. This mark on Lopez’s record will follow him, and his future teachers will look at him as a menace and further abuse their power just as this school is doing to him now. The school is ruining his life when he doesn’t even understand the consequences of his actions. He is five years old and doesn’t yet understand right from wrong. Whenever a child does something wrong you give them a small punishment that only effects them right then and there. To give him a permanent record is going too far.

Furthermore, the administration should be more concerned with the antagonizing student who threatened to pull Lopez’s pants down, as this threat was the source of the alleged sexual misconduct. Lopez was the victim of a bully, and the administration must address the root cause of the incident before applying a permanent label of sexual misconduct on an innocent child.

Schools and their teachers are slowly becoming corrupt with their power over students, and that is hurting the students. If actions are not taken to lessen administrators’ power and to help students like Lopez, as the future generation grows, this corrupted power will hurt them. Ashton Ranch Elementary School needs to change the label on Lopez and consider the mentality and innocence of students depending on their age and the action committed.

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