A 9-year-old Florida boy is in hot water with his school after writing a love note to his crush, ABC Action News reported on Nov. 9.
The boy, who attends fourth grade in the Hillsborough County Public Schools district in Tampa, Florida, reportedly passed a love note to a little girl in his class that he had a crush on.
The note, written in pencil on plain notebook paper, informed the girl that the boy liked her because he thought she was "pretty and nice." The note went on to compliment her hair and her eyes.
Although the boy's letter seemed to be written with innocent intentions, the other students in the class soon began to tease him about wanting to see the girl naked.
At this point, the school principal contacted the boy's mother and said that if her son wrote another love note, he would be facing sexual harassment charges.
The district claimed that the boy's actions constituted harassment because he had written several notes to the girl and the letters were "unwanted."
The school also said that it discouraged students from passing notes in class because it causes disruptions.
The boy's mother told ABC Action News that she was shocked by the way school officials reacted.
"He's 9," she said. "What little kid doesn't write love notes?"
She explained that her son's note gave the girl innocent compliments such as "how she wears the same uniform and her eyes sparkled like diamonds."
"My 9-year-old doesn't even know what sexual harassment means," she added.
Dr. Valerie McClain, a licensed psychologist in Tampa, said that she didn't believe the boy intended any harm. "It may be something he thought was very sweet and innocent," she said.
However, she advises parents to speak to their children about boundaries and what is acceptable in a school environment.
"What needs to happen is education needs to be provided about how to relate to this young girl or how to stay away from talking to her, if that's the goal," McClain said.
This was not the first time a school district reacted harshly to young love. In September, a 13-year-old boy at Pikesville Middle School in Baltimore was charged with assault for giving a female classmate an unwanted kiss, Fox Baltimore reported at the time.
Photo Credit: ABC Action News