A Colorado school district suspends 6-year-old D'Avonte Meadows for three days
District says he's guilty of "sexual harassment" for singing "Sexy and I Know It"
The boy says that he loves to sing and heard the song on TV
His mother says she wants the suspension wiped off her son's record
The day he returned to school from a three-day suspension, a Colorado first-grader and his family on Monday were still fighting his being disciplined for what the school labeled “sexual harassment” for quoting the song “Sexy and I Know It.”
D’Avonte Meadows was suspended last week from Sable Elementary School in Aurora, just east of Denver. His suspension notice from the school claimed that the boy sang the LMFAO hit “I’m Sexy and I Know It” to a female classmate – the second time he had done so.
His mother, Stephanie, told HLN’s Vinnie Politan on Monday night that the first incident took place in art class and the second in a lunch line, describing both as her 6-year-old son’s awkward attempts to impress a girl.
“It’s an adolescent boy that possibly likes a girl and doesn’t understand, ‘Hey, I like you and I put it in those terms,’ ” Stephanie Meadows said. “That’s the adolescent mind.”
She added that while D’Avonte is now allowed back in school, his family is still trying to get the suspension for “sexual harassment” overturned.
“I don’t want him to have this on his record like that,” Meadows said.
Aurora school district officials did not comment directly on the boy’s case on Monday. But the school district did release a statement explaining its policy on “offensive behavior,” including its definition of “sexual harassment.”
“‘Sexual harassment’ refers to behavior which is not welcome, is personally offensive and, therefore, interferes with the learning of the victim(s) and sometimes their peers,” the district said. “This is not a criminal definition of sexual harassment; it is one that is focused on providing a safe learning environment for all Aurora Public School students.”
The school district pointed to its anti-bullying program, saying that examples of sexual harassment include “sexually oriented ‘kidding’ or inappropriate references to sexual matters, continued or repeated verbal remarks about a person’s body (and) making sexual or lewd gestures.”
Meadows took issue with any assertion that her son’s remarks, in an arts classroom and the school cafeteria, hurt anyone’s education.
“I’m still kind of baffled how it was interrupting the learning, especially with this last incident, when all he was (doing) was singing this song,” she said.
Belting out the tune Justin Bieber’s smash “Baby,” D’Avonte pointed out that he loves to sing.
“Karaoke is fun,” he said.
And why did he sing part of “Sexy and I Know It,” of all songs, in school?
“Because it’s on every commercial, Elmo, and the M&Ms and ‘on demand,’ ” he explained. The first reference is to a Sesame Street parody “I’m Elmo and I Know It,” the second to the M&M spoof commercial that debuted in between the action at Super Bowl XLVI and the third to snippets of LMFAO’s video that appear while surfing for music and programs on cable TV “on demand” services.
Meadows said that she has already impressed upon young D’Avonte that he should not sing that specific LMFAO song in school any more.
That said, she added she feels it’s hard to shelter him from everything in the outside world – noting, for instance, that she did not play “Sexy and I Know It” on the radio, though he likely heard it on TV in commercials and more.
“As much as you monitor, as much as you try to be careful, as much as you watch everything your child does … they are going to be exposed to something,” the mother said.