A Child's Innocence

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               Sexual Harassment?

I believe it's wonderful and healthy for children to have imaginary friends. I had them (which may influence my opinion) and I once even had a student bring her imaginary friend to the first few days of school.  Note: I made certain that said friend was moved so I wouldn't step on her as I was walking around the classroom. 

I cherish the stories children tell me about their imaginary friends.  Kids talk about these friends with so much confidence, love and authority.  After all, they know more about these friends than anyone else!

Who will be the first to mock these children for using their imagination and nurturing their sense of wonder?  Who will be the one to discourage the existence of imaginary friends in these children's lives?  How long will these children be allowed their innocence?

When I was six years old, my sister (then 18) told me there was no Santa Claus.  I wasn't exactly thrilled with the news, to say the least, and neither were my parents when I told them who told me.  My sister didn't want me to "live a lie" and felt that it was her responsibility to tell me the truth.  I believed my sister when she told me, but, up until then, I also believed in Santa.  I wrote Santa Claus a letter every year and left cookies and milk for him on Christmas Eve.  The next morning, the milk was always gone and there were cookie crumbs on the plate.  I believed.  I was innocent.

Today a six year old boy was suspended for sexual harassment.  His crime: Kissing the hand of a girl in his reading group.  He admitted he had a crush on her.
Now, understandably, this little boy is asking his mom what sex is.  Because of a little boy's tender gesture and the **** reactions of school officials, this child is being robbed of a part of his childhood, a portion of his innocence.  Who decided it was time for this?

Bonnie L. Frank

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