Sexual Harassment?

A few years ago there was a story in the national news about a little boy from North Carolina kissing a girl in his first grade class. He was given an in-school suspension, which isolated him from his classmates for a period of time, as punishment for violating the school’s policy against sexual harassment.

This brought back the memory of an incident when I was in the first grade. Several months had passed since the beginning of school. I had made many friends, mostly boys, and had begun liking school. However there was a new attraction, a girl who sat on the other side of the room. She owned the only football in school and could kick the fool out of it. She always wore jodhpurs which were very appropriate for a girl playing the football game we called “setback.” This game involved kicking the football back and forth between teams until one team was pushed back to a designated goal. She was the leader of the team that usually won and we always hoped that she would choose us for her team. She had thick brown shiny hair that she wore in pigtails, big blue eyes, and a kind of giggly laughter that made chills run up my spine. I had always liked football but now there was an extra “kick” in it for me.

After giving it much thought, I concluded that no doubt this was love, but what should I do now? I thought that if I told my best friend he might know what to do next. That was my first big mistake. He didn’t understand the seriousness of my situation and thought this was the funniest thing he’d ever heard so he told all of the other boys. Now the trouble started. The boys seemed to thoroughly enjoy teasing me every chance they got. My life became miserable!

One day shortly after confiding in my friend, a group of the boys grabbed me at recess. Holding me and pushing me toward the little girl, they declared that they were going to make me kiss her. Now I was big for my age, bigger than most of the other boys, and I gave them quite a fight.

But as I was knocking them away from me, I had a brilliant idea! I would continue to fight but I’d let them gradually take me to the girl and let them make me kiss her. They would be to blame and I’d get the kiss. Hot dog!

When we got within a few feet of her, the boys chickened out and let me go. By this time I was no longer conscious of the boys. I continued toward the girl and kissed her on the cheek.

The boys ran to the teacher and told her that I was kissing one of the girls. The teacher sent for Mrs. Hewell, the principal. Mrs. Hewell came and took me by the hand and in a loving but very firm manner gave me a lecture in front of the class (it seemed to me the whole world) about the purpose of school. I had to apologize to the girl and promise Mrs. Hewell that it would not happen again. That was effective punishment and I never kissed another girl... at school.

I’ve given the harassment issue a lot of thought over the years. In my case the girl didn't run away when I kissed her. Would this be considered consent on her part? Maybe she just didn’t see me coming. The only clue that I have is that at the next recess she chose me first for her team.