Public schools

Mom Vows to Fight School That Charged Her Little Boy with 'Sexual Misconduct' for Harmless Playground Antics

The mother of the Nevada kindergartner who was formally accused of sexual misconduct has vowed to fight the charges.

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Eric Lopez
AZ Family

The mother of Eric Lopez—the Arizona kindergartner who was formally accused of sexual misconduct by school officials after pulling his pants down on the playground—has vowed to fight the charges, according to CBS Las Vegas:

Eric Lopez, a kindergartner at Ashton Ranch Elementary School, pulled his pants down on the playground this past spring. The child received detention and has a note within his permanent file at the school. At the time of the incident, his mother wasn't notified nor did school officials inform her that her son signed a note in the assistant principal's office.

"He did not know that he could ask for me," Eric's mother, Erica Martinez, told KTVK. "He's 5."

Dysart Unified School District has a policy that states a parent does not have to be present for a disciplinary meeting unless the student requests his or her parent.

First of all, that's a terrible policy, plain and simple. How is a 5-year-old supposed to know to do the elementary-school equivalent of asking for a lawyer?

It's also ludicrous to punish a small boy's antics as if they amount to sex crime. But when school administrators must choose between compliance with silly rules and common sense… well, it doesn't seem like it's ever really a choice.

As Reason contributor Lenore Skenazy put it in her coverage of the incident:

That's the outlook that has given us zero tolerance, three strikes and you're out, and mandatory minimum laws, as well as principals who think their only recourse when a five-year-old pulls down his pants is to label him a sexual deviant. Why is there no official form for labelling someone a "protocol fetishist?"

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  1. Dysart Unified School District has a policy that states a parent does not have to be present for a disciplinary meeting unless the student requests his or her parent.

    I don’t know what her complaint is. Their policy backs them up.

    1. “Dysart Unified School District has a policy that states a parent does not have to be present for a disciplinary meeting unless the student requests his or her parent”

      So the policy is pretty much:
      ‘We’ll do as we goddam well please!’

    2. Isn’t… isn’t the whole point of having the parent/guardian be there is that a child is incapable of comprehending these things?

      1. Are you a parent? Because you seem to be incapable of comprehending what a policy is for. Theirs said they didn’t need to have a parent present and they followed it to the letter. How much more legit do you need?

  2. Loco parentis be damned, that is a major civil rights violation if they made him sign a confession absent counsel or even absent the ability to comprehend the charges against him.

    I hope this mom sues the school district into oblivion.

    1. Idiot. Children don’t have rights. It’s explicitly stated right there before Amendment #1: Not suitable for children under 18/21/26.

  3. It’s also ludicrous to punish a small boy’s antics as if they amount to sex crime.

    Robby, what would the appropriate punishment be?

    1. Gladiator movies.

      1. Are you not entertained?

    2. My daughter, being who she is, had a habit of lifting up her school uniform dress to show off her pretty princess panties.

      The administrator of the school talked to my wife one day and asked if we’d put leggings on her when she wore a dress. We did, and that was the end of it.

      Sounds appropriate here. Just pull mom aside and tell her to talk to the kid about not doing it again. Anything more than that is silly.

      1. This.

        It’s bad enough that they dump all common sense here, but they have to work with this child and the parent for years to come. Are they in such an oppositional relationship to their parents at this school that they would pull this confrontational stunt rather than first talking to her? It’s madness.

        1. In order to have an oppositional relationship with a parent the school has to have a relationship with said parent.

          When my kids were in school it was “parents should be seen at PTO, but otherwise stay out of the way.”

      2. Just pull mom aside-

        Boom. You just broke with policy. You’re fired.

    3. Robby, what would the appropriate punishment be?

      A reprimand, a day of missing recess, and oh yeah, a talk with the parents?

      But we can’t expect that of education majors who are, by definition, functionally retarded.

    4. The first story on H&R about this incident said the kid was bullied into pulling down his pants, so it’s not clear he should be punished at all.

      1. Bullied or seduced, Nicole? We know your type.

    5. Suspenders

  4. As adults become more infantilized, they treat infants more like adults. Are we living in the stupidest of all possible times?

    1. Perk Derp is a myth. Derp is infinite.

      1. Derp is a perk? I thought it was an affliction.

        1. It’s a coffeshop, moron.

          1. Sounds like a coffeeshop for morons.Or run by them.

          2. Not a very good one, though.

          3. Actually, I could go for that as a coffeeshop name.

    2. Give me ten years and I’ll get back to you.

  5. It’s never too early to get started on the school to prison pipeline!

  6. I bet a teacher could pull his peepee out on the playground, and after a disciplinary review would be given a 5% pay raise and tenure.

    1. There is no doubt that this is true.

  7. I wish luck to Mrs. Lopez and i predict the idiotic school district backs down. They don’t want to fight a wise Latina.

  8. If anyone wished to send an email to the principal or assistant principal…

    Principal
    david.stoeve@dysart.org

    Assistant Principal
    sherri.hedges@dysart.org

  9. Better alt-text: Episiarch with Juice Box.

    1. Needs more guido. Think of Episiarch as the human equivalent of a rusted out Trans Am whose main point of pride for its owner is that the muffler fell off.

      1. Hopefully a Trans Am with that big eagle decal on the hood?

    2. One minute it’s adorable playground hijinx, the next-STEVE SMITH.

  10. How is a 5-year-old supposed to know to do the elementary-school equivalent of asking for a lawyer?

    Especially without whole milk to drink.

  11. Bart Simpson – SEX CRIMINAL

    http://goo.gl/78X3YN

    Who knew?

    1. I never thought there was any doubt. After all – “Eat my shorts”! What’s NOT perverted about that?

  12. “How is a 5-year-old supposed to know to do the elementary-school equivalent of asking for a lawyer?”

    A few years ago SCOTUS dealt with a case where a 13 year old was called to the principals office and, with the door closed, questioned by a police officer with the principal present about a crime. He was not read his rights or told he could have his parent present. The court ruled that in determining whether the kid was in custody, and so had to have his rights read to him, that courts should take into consideration the kid’s age. Astonishingly, that conclusion was 5-4 (Thomas, Scalia, Alito and Roberts dissenting).

  13. Yeah, common sense is not an option. I once had a client with a really, really sick child that had missed more days of school than the law allowed because of his illness. Naturally the kid and his dad were about to be prosecuted for violating the truancy statute. Until the nurse at the PICU faxed that prosecutor that the kid might die in court if he had to attend.

    1. Until the nurse at the PICU faxed that prosecutor that the kid might die in court if he had to attend.

      Hey, the law’s the law, buddy. Sick kids dying in court is the price we pay for civilization.

      1. Civilization is just the kids we all kill together.

        1. *laughing*

          *now weeping*

    2. Related (linked by Reason a while ago):

      Mother of 7 in jail because her kids skipped school dies in cell

    3. These are stories that really need to show up on the evening news. That prosecutor needs to be pilloried.

  14. I’m on my way!

  15. “He did not know that he could ask for me,” Eric’s mother, Erica Martinez, told KTVK. “He’s 5.”

    IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE!

    1. And because anything signed by a five-year-old is totally legally enforcable, right?

    2. Unless you’re in law enforcement, then ignorance of the law means more training is required.

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