5-year-old written up for sexual misconduct

SURPRISE, Ariz. - The mother of a 5-year-old Arizona boy is upset after her son was given detention for what his school is calling "sexual misconduct," she told station KTVK.

The kindergartner pulled his pants down on the playground at Ashton Ranch Elementary School in Surprise, Ariz., this past spring, according to CBS Las Vegas. The boy received detention and has a note within his permanent file at the school.

His mother, Erica Martinez, said she was not notified by the school at the time of the incident, and that officials had her son sign a note in the assistant principal's office without her permission. "He did not know that he could ask for me," she told KTVK.

CBS Las Vegas reports the Dysart Unified School District - which covers Maricopa County and Ashton Ranch Elementary - has a policy that states a parent does not have to be present for a disciplinary meeting unless the student specifically requests it.

Martinez has been fighting to have the sexual misconduct label removed for the past two months. She says her son's actions were not sexual in any way, but the district has denied her appeal and the assistant superintendent is defending the school's decision.

"Our school district uses consistent language for disciplinary infractions in order to provide clarity and track discipline data accurately," assistant superintendent Jim Dean said in a written statement to KTVK.

Dean said the district must adhere to state and federal guidelines that are set to define a sexual offense.

AZ SAFE is a state-sponsored initiative which helps districts gather and clarify information, according to CBS Las Vegas. The state suggests that each district take into account the age and maturity of a student before placing their actions in the sexual offense category.

Martinez said she doesn't think her son's age was taken into account when the district labeled his "depantsing." However, Dean said the district does not focus on labels when disciplining students.

"Even though the discipline labels are consistently used and the discipline form is consistent with grades K-12 to ensure all legal mandates are met, the discussion the administrator has about a situation and consequences are age-appropriate," Dean said to KTVK. "The discussion with a kindergarten student is focused on the specific action, not on the label that is used for classifying the infraction."


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