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Principal calls cops over 12-year-olds’ kiss

In what would seem to be political correctness gone mad, an elementary school assistant principal called police after a 12-year-old boy and girl were caught kissing on a Florida playground.

The school administrator had called state child abuse officials first, who told her that sixth graders exchanging their first kiss wasn’t something they would respond to — that perhaps she would want to pursue the matter with law enforcement. Lee County deputy sheriffs responded to an emergency call from the Orange River Elementary School and declined to file charges, reported Kristine Gill for the Scripps-Howard News Service.

Was Tinkerbell trying to prevent sexual abuse in "Peter Pan"? (Photo: Walt Disney Co.)


Sgt. Stephanie Eller of the sheriff’s office told reporters that deputies informed Assistant Principal Margaret Ann Haring that a kiss between children is not a sex crime.

“This incident is more of a simple assault,” Sgt. Eller said, wryly — adding, “though by definition there would have to be a victim.”

And neither 12-year-old is willing to go on record that they objected to being kissed.

Now irked parents are accusing the school of over-reaction and taking political correctness to a bizarre new level.

According to the Naples, Fla., Daily News, two sixth-grade girls had a crush on a sixth-grade boy. On the playground during a physical education class, they began arguing in front of their friends about which one of them loved him the most. According to witnesses, the boy in question was aware that he was the object of both girls’ affection and basking in the attention as he climbed on the monkey bars.


Suddenly, one of the girls decided to prove she was his one-and-only. She jumped up and gave him a kiss. Witnesses do not agree whether or not he kissed her back. However, it caused quite a sensation on the playground among their gawking classmates — particularly the crowd of girls who had been taking in the romantic drama.

A teacher on playground duty reported the kiss on the monkey bars to Assistant Principal Haring.

Haring reportedly feared it was a “possible sex crime” and that school regulations required that such an assault be reported. She called social workers at the Florida Department of Children and Families. They said the call came in on their sex-abuse hotline, but according to DFC spokesperson Terri Durdaller, “It did not fit our criteria.” Sheriff’s Deputies responded, talked with teachers and took no action.


Apparently stealing a kiss is not against the law in Florida — particularly among children.

Deputies “went ahead and took a report,” said Sgt. Eller.

Local reaction has been predictable.

“Whatever happened to common senses?” demanded one parent.

The incident has even made the British tabloids. Officials have declined to name the 12-year-olds publicly — although every 12-year-old girl in Naples knows exactly who the kissing couple was.

“It’s all so much foolishness — and one more reason the public is losing confidence in the education system. A kiss between 12-year-olds, I would say is relatively harmless,” parent John McDaniel told the Daily Mail‘s Paul McDonald, who quoted another parent saying: “Principal Margaret Ann Haring needs to be fired immediately. It is pretty obvious she is out of touch and clueless. Two little kids kissing is a sex act? What an idiot.”

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Janete

    This is outrageous! What is wrong with this principal? There is so much real perversion out there, but a kiss between two young 12 year olds? We dreamt of those magical kisses when we were children and even in kindegarten I kissed a neighbor boy I played hide n seek with because I had a crush on him! That was so magical! At 12, I can remember a boy kissed me and I ran away, it was also a magical time. We weren’t thinking of anything more than a kiss Where is this woman’s mind at? What is happening to our world, innocence and dreams? We have horrible video games, sick movies everywhere we look and 2 children kissing is abuse? Yikes, this is totally over-reacting! I think that this Principle needs Psychiatric treatment or counseling, whichever, she needs help!!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Debra

    I think this may have been taking it to the extreme..they are only children..what happened to the educators being able to handle this with the parents. Those children were competing for the young boys attention..and the attention they received may ruin there life as it relates to relationships.


    How sad! this is ridiculos I can’t stand it.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Babbs

    It is easy to second guess the asst principal, but in today’s society, you have to think legality first. How many times have school officials or another public servants assumed “no harm, no foul” and ended up in court facing a lawsuit for not reacting. These are the types of cases lawyers jump on and claim emotional scarring. Let’s face facts people we live in a world where a criminal can be injured while committing a crime and end up suing the victim. It maybe sad, but that’s just the way it is.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sharon

    There was no second guessing for me. It only took me A second to figure out that this was taken too far!!! Emotional scarring? What do you think is happening with the story the way it is now? This so called asst prncpl needs to be reprimanded. This is TOTally outrageous and I would NOT stand for it in the least bit. More and more kids are being home schooled and the schools are crying for more money and this is definately a reason why I would take my own child out and teach him myself. I’d likely do just as a good a job, if not better. And just a little note, don’t you think the sheriffs deputies have better things to be doing? I mean really !!!! Their time was thoroughly wasted, not to mention, your tax dollars !!! Too much ignorance!!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Ruey Elizabeth Zeigler

    It is time to get back to reality. What is the world is this principal thinking? Where did she become trained to be a principal? Children learn (as they should) how to behave in society by exploring, making mistakes, and moving on. A KISS, really, I am a mother of 3, grandmother of 9, and think a kiss is not something to call the police for. Get Real.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment John

    While it can be argued the situation was blown out of proportion by the well intended principal, let’s be honest with ourselves. If the kiss had been unwelcome or coerced by peer pressure or a dare (and in this situation, the kisser could have felt pressured to perform), then we’d be crying for the principal’s head for not doing enough. In this case, the kiss was welcomed (and maybe even encouraged) so there was no harm.

    While I don’t applaud this principal for escalating this situation, I also don’t want to see her vilified for trying to protect all the children involved – the participants and the witnesses. I’m kind of glad there are people willing to do the unpopular to protect others.

    Our Lord never said it would be easy or popular to protect others. And that’s as real as it gets.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Johanna

    Principal needs his head examined. With the state of education in this country, would think he’d have more important issues to think about.

    Hell0 . . . Principal . . . This is adolescent. Are you too much of an old fart to remember yours?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Ashley

    What makes NO sense is that in CA the twelve year old girl could excuse herself from school to go to Planned Parenthood for an abortion and the school would call NO ONE to report THAT sex crime (it’s usually adult men that empregnate young girls)! PC idiocy has got too far, it’s up to parents to pitch a fit and not let up until our school policies are changed and PC, feminist, nut jobs are fired!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Yeye

    If the principal was at all concerned, she should have summoned the parents of all concerned. Wasted police time for a situation she can take care of herself. She’s not fit to be a principal if incidents such as this warrants her calling social services or the police. Now, if the boy was trying to rape the girl, that’s another issue entirely.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Irene

    I say she did the right thing better safe than sorry. If the boy went home and said a girl attacked me on the play ground she would have been in big trouble knowing about it and not saying anyth9ng. than she would have said it was just a kiss so I thought nothing of it.

  • http://12yearoldKissing Mama Ree

    I agree that the school may have taken this too far….but, if it had been my 12 year old daughter I would have wanted them to let me know…I would then have talked with her and let her know that this kind of display of affection is not approiate for a 12 year old and definiately not in public. If the children (and they are still children even if society is making them grow up too fast) are not taught how and when to display affection by parents then next what will the teachers be walking up on. If the little boy had done this, would the mother of the little girl have been upset…I would think so… I know I would have…Our children need to stay in our guidance until they are out of our homes and making a living and supporting themselves…
    NO WAY should the principal be fired….She was doing what she thought was cover the schools liability…again if it had been a boy jumping to kiss a girl would have been seen differently by some people…not by is the same either way..both male and female are both children.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rosemarie

    Thank God for sensible law enforcement agents.
    I believe in todays culture people like this principal are experiencing fear of some sort of punishment if they do not report such a benign act.
    Political correctness is strangling us!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jennifer

    If this is a crime, then why are they teaching sex education in schools at 5th grade? And how is it not a crime for the New York State in April to show very descriptive sexual positions on flash cards including beastiality, gay porn with and without condoms to minors Spring 2012?

    Kissing is a crime? Holding hands is a crime? But intercourse, anal sex and oral sex is OK? These people are INSANE! They need to go to jail.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rosanne HIrsch

    Unfortunately in this society or day and age this is what it has come to. It has gone from one extreme to the other. The principal was covering herself and her school system. Today, Many things start out innocently and before you know it people with all the temptations out there find themselves in precarious postions. It has come to this in our society today with so many boundaries being crossed.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Linda

    Sad on so many levels. No doubt the principal was very aware of today’s demand for political correctness. Also, no doubt that the media grabbed it and ran with it. You can see that in the knee-jerk reaction people have had to the story. My first reaction, also, was to condemn the principal. THEN I read the story. If this had happened to one of my daughters the entire family would tease her and we would all, including her, laugh – and maybe invite the boy and his parents to dinner.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Karen

    Very sad. Nothing in our society is innocent anymore. Everything is taken to extremes. Reality shows, Facebook, are making sure of that.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Purplemiss77

    No one would be saying that if this “kiss” (where it all begins) leads to touchie feelie

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