A 10-year-old boy at Holly Hill School in Volusia County, Florida, US has been suspended after he was accused by his school’s female counsellor of groping her during a hug.
According to NBC, the boy was to face a charge of violation of battery for the misdemeanour that happened on October 24. When the counselor visited the fourth-grade classroom to discuss something, the boy reached out for a hug.
However, the boy’s family – grandmother and legal guardian received the suspension letter brought by lawyers – that placed him on a 10-day suspension.
In her police report, the counsellor said she “turned sideways to give a side hug,” and the child put one arm around her shoulder and with the other hand.
The boy’s grandmother denied the allegation saying it was the female school staff that held his hand according to the boy’s account.
“My grandson said with the hug, she did grab his hand and hold his hand up, and he didn’t really know why she did it. He said she let his hand go and he walked back to his seat and then he began to talk to other students,” the grandmother said.
The grandmother said she did not accept the punishment adding that the incident could be an accident.
“We’re talking about a 10-year-old being kicked out of school for what possibly could have been an accident. There’s no witness, just her word against his. He’s only 10,” she added.
The identities of both parties involved in the incident could not be revealed because minors are not disclosed in the public for offences committed while the woman invoked Marsy’s Law, which in Florida allows alleged crime victims to remain anonymous.
Police were called to the school on Wednesday in reference to an alleged battery, and the child faces a charge of misdemeanour battery, according to the police report, but has not yet been charged.