Saturday, November 19, 2011
Nothing surprises me anymore.
By Paul Thompson
Two 12-year-olds faced a police investigation for a sex crime after being caught kissing at school.
Police were called to a Florida elementary school after an assistant principal was told the pair had exchanged a playground kiss.
But after officers responded to the emergency call they declined the take any action saying no offence had been committed.
Now parents have accused the school of over-reacting and taking political correctness to a new level.
The incident took place at Orange River Elementary School in Fort Myers, Florida.
According to local reports two girls who had a crush on a boy were talking about which of them liked him the most.
One of the girls approached the boy and briefly kissed him.
A teacher on duty noticed the kiss and reported it to the assistant principal Margaret Ann Haring.
She said it was a 'possible sex crime' and called social workers at the Florida Department of Children and Families.
They told her to report the matter to the Lee County Sheriff's office who responded by sending deputies to the school.
After talking with teachers no action was taken as no crime had been committed.
Haring told deputies there is an ongoing involvement with DCF.
'They went ahead and took a report and documented this because we don't know at this point whether or not there is bigger picture that somebody needs to be looking at,' said police spokesman Sgt Stephanie Eller.
'We had been called because one of the teachers observed what they thought was inappropriate behaviour."
Sgt Eller added that the kiss was not a sex crime.
'This incident is more of a simple assault, though by definition there would have to be a victim,' she said.
It is not reported that the boy objected to being kissed.
The two children involved in the kissing were spoken to by the school principal Holly Bell.
She said: 'Two girls were guessing who was each other's boyfriend.'
Parents at the school believe the principal overreacted by calling police.
'How I behaved when I was 12 and most of the kids that I knew, yes its exploratory,' said parent John McDaniel.
'A kiss between 12-year-olds, I would say is relatively harmless.'
Others writing in the local newspaper were outrage by the police getting involved.
One wrote: 'Whatever happened to common senses' while another commented: 'Principal Margaret Ann Haring needs to be fired immediately.'
'It is pretty obvious she is out of touch and clueless. Two little kids kissing is a Sex Act? What an idiot.'
MADISON - The parents of a 6-year-old boy accused of sexual assault are suing Grant County, Wis., officials, contending they violated their son's civil rights.
The first-degree sexual assault charges against the boy came after a 5-year-old girl's mother suspected a game of playing doctor between the two kids had gone too far last fall, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday.
The parents' lawsuit, filed in federal court in Madison, seeks damages and an injunction against Grant County District Attorney Lisa Riniker. The suit also names a sheriff's deputy and a social worker as defendants.
The lawsuit states the boy, identified as D in the suit, the girl and the girl's 5-year-old brother were playing doctor when the girl's mother walked in. The girl's mother told investigators she suspected D had put his finger in the girl's anus.
D's parents, identified in the suit as Jennifer and Kurt D., said D had a medical condition prior to the play date that required rectal exams.
The Wisconsin State Journal reported in the spring that a judge rule against dismissing a juvenile court petition for protective services filed by Riniker last November. The report stated the girl said D only touched the outside of her buttocks.
Karen and Kurt D's lawsuit contends the whole investigation was biased because the girl's father is a "well-know political figure in Grant County," and that former Grant County Sheriff's Sgt. James Kop "waged a relentless campaign to discredit and embarrass and humiliate 6-year-old D."
The suit also claims Riniker tried to coerce D's parents into signing a consent decree by insinuating she would have the boy removed from their custody.