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clock Dec 11, 2006 8:13 pm US/Pacific

Texas 4-Year-Old Suspended After Hugging Aide

(AP) WACO, Texas School administrators gave a 4-year-old student an in-school suspension for inappropriately touching a teacher's aide after the pre-kindergartner hugged the woman.

A letter from La Vega school district administrators to the student's parents said that the boy was involved in ``inappropriate physical behavior interpreted as sexual contact and/or sexual harassment'' after he hugged the woman and he ``rubbed his face in the chest of (the) female employee'' on Nov. 10.

DaMarcus Blackwell, the father of the boy who attends La Vega Primary School, said he filed a complaint with the district. He said that his son doesn't understand why he was punished.

``When I got that letter, my world flipped,'' Blackwell said in a story in Sunday's editions of the Waco Tribune-Herald.

La Vega school district officials said student privacy laws prevented them from commenting.

After Blackwell filed a complaint, a subsequent letter from the district said the offense had been changed to ``inappropriate physical contact'' and removed references of sexual contact or sexual harassment from the boy's file.

Administrators said the district's student handbook contains no specific guidelines referring to contact between teachers and students but does state that inappropriate physical contact will result in a discipline referral.

The La Vega school district, which has five schools, covers about 30 miles around Waco.

(© 2006 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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