• Mon, May 7 2012

Total Overreaction: 6-Year-Old Suspended For Sexual Harassment After Singing LMFAO Song

sexual harassment 6 year oldD’Avonte Meadows is just 6 years old and a first-grade student at Sable Elementary in Aurora, Colorado. Last week, he was suspended for sexual harassment after singing the lyrics to LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” to a female classmate. And, not surprisingly, there are two schools of thought on the matter: one is that he deserves to be suspended, the other is that he is 6 years old and most likely has no idea what the line “I’m sexy and I know it” even means.

I fall into the latter category. Don’t get me wrong, this kid needs to be dealt with pronto. But to accuse him of sexual harassment is just absurd. He is 6 years old! Maybe I feel so strongly because I, too, am the mother of a 6-year-old boy who happens to be into LMFAO. Is their music appropriate for a 6-year-old? Not really. But one day he came home from summer camp, asked me to type “Party Rock Anthem” into YouTube, and up came LMFAO’s hit (which includes the line, “In the club party rock, lookin’ for your girl? She on my jock…“).  He then proceeded to do a whole big dance – the official “camp dance,” he explained – which he and his little brother performed almost every day for the next two months. It did not even occur to me to call the camp and complain – mostly because he and dozens of other kids I know were singing it all the time (it was forever playing on the radio, in malls, at the gym and, as I’ve just mentioned, at summer camp!).

Well, I’m glad my kid doesn’t go to Sable Elementary. Because I’d be less than thrilled if he got suspended for sexual harassment for reciting some line he didn’t understand. Granted, D’Avonte’s mother, Stephanie Meadows, told ABC7 News that her son had had disciplinary problems prior to the whole LMFAO ordeal. Just last month, in fact, he was  sent to the principal’s office for singing the same song to the same girl. (Now that I think about, I’d be causing a big stink if I were the girl’s mother – so I do see both sides here.)

But Stephanie still doesn’t think her son’s actions warrants a suspension for sexual harassment, and I don’t disagree. “I could understand if he was fondling her, looking up her skirt, trying to look in her shirt. That, to me, is sexual harassment,” Meadows told ABC7 News. She also said she plans to sit with him “and see if he understands exactly what the song means.”

Something tells me he won’t. Which is why I’m so opposed to the whole sexual harassment claim. Suspension for disciplinary problems is one thing; suspension for reciting the line “I’m sexy and I know it” is a whole thing altogether. I wouldn’t feel that way about a teenager, but I most certainly do about a 6-year-old child.

How about you? Do you think the school overreacted, or do you think D’Avonte deserved to be suspended for sexual harassment?

(Photo: mirror.co.uk)

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  • Eileen

    Even if he’s not sexually harassing her (if, as his mom suspects, he doesn’t know the lyrics’ meaning), he’s still harassing her if she’s asked him to stop singing to her and he hasn’t.

  • Barb

    Give the kid a break. Their is a tv commercial for M&M’s candy, when he is doing this. To me pc is totally out of control.

  • Jen

    So, this kid behaved inappropriately towards a classmate a few weeks earlier and he was spoken to and asked to stop–which I think we can all agree is a reasonable handling of the situation. Instead of stopping he escalates the behavior that made the classmate uncomfortable by shaking his butt in her face while singing the song and the mother laments how unfair this is to him? And you defend the kid? No wonder our girls have to walk around in fear when we protect six year olds and allow the perpetrators to define what does and does not constitute harassment.

  • Sara

    So this is how discipline in schools works. Every time you are written up and sent to the office you get a different step as your punishment. Generally the first time you get talked to and your parents get called and then several steps later you get in school suspension and then several steps later you are suspended.

    The child wasn’t suspended for singing the song, he was suspended because he was written up and that was the step in the discipline plan he was on. This was not a zero tolerance suspension, he was suspended because of a pattern of behavior.

    • Katie

      This is my understanding of it too.

      If he’s at the point of suspension, there is much more going on here.

  • Angela

    Since when do girls need to be fondled or have someone reaching up their skirts to be harassed? Isn’t that actually sexual assault? I do get that this kid is only 6 and may not fully comprehend the implications of his actions but the point is that he needs to. And seeing as how he was already told that his actions were inappropriate it wasn’t exactly innocent fun either. The school already tried other methods of discipline and talking with his parents but the harassment persisted so suspension seems like a reasonable next step.

  • Ms Rich

    I agree that no one is mentioning that this song is part of an M&M’s commercial, do you really think they are advertising those M&M’s to us grown adults, that advertisement is for kids but using adults because they know the legal issues they would of had if children were used.

    But as a person of colour I am once again outraged as what I do notice clearly is that this is the second very young child of colour who has been publicly humiliated for begin a G-d D-*!@ normal child 1 having a bad tantrum and this one repeating a song from a commercial really directed towards children.

    What the H–L is this world coming to when adults impose their sexual perverse interpretations onto little children. I can’t believe something so trivial was blown out to this point. I’m not a teacher or ECE provider and I know that children have the memory of a “Nat” when it comes to disciplining them to stop imitating things they see in their environment (TV) that we as adults clearly understand as not appropriate (including when they use swear words they don’t understand the true meaning of a swear word, like an adult does).

    Once again this teacher and principle and any other administrators involved in this decision to take such a harsh disciplinary action toward let’s not forget a 6 year old need retraining or should move onto careers where innocent little children are not at risk of making the mistake of being a “C-H-I-L-D!!!!!!!”.

  • Colleen

    I worked in childcare for about three years, with kids from ages 2-12. While it’s not the case with EVERY kid, I can tell you from experience that you might be shocked at just how many kids even as young as three know EXACTLY what they mean when they use derogatory slurs, swear words, or sexual references like the song lyrics in question.

    Again, I don’t know this kid, obviously, but this did say that he’s been in trouble because of the same thing prior to the suspension; the school was within their rights here. He’s six, he’s old enough to know better than to repeat behavior that resulted once before in disciplinary action.

    It’s important that kids learn how serious harassment is, whether it’s sexual in nature or not. I say good for the school for teaching him that it’s unacceptable and will not be tolerated.