In Baltimore, Maryland, a 13-year-old 8th grader faced arrest after planting a kiss on a fellow female classmate at Pikesville Middle School. The kid who faced the arrest is currently being charged with second-degree assault after grabbing the 14-year-old girl who received the kiss by her shirt, and, “open mouth-kissing her while sticking his tongue down her throat.” The kid will be tried as a juvenile, and was released to his mother following the incident, according to CBS Baltimore.
Roz Zurko of The Examiner wrote that many people are beginning to comment about the kid arrest kiss situation on online forums. One person commented the following.
“By all means, give this kid detention. Make him apologize to the girl. Tell his parents to teach him better manners. But don’t charge him with assault. That would be a far greater crime than a stolen kiss.”
But is it really so outlandish to arrest and charge the kid because of a kiss? By definition, assault of the second degree refers to the occurrence of, “sexual contact, which is intentional touching of intimate parts or clothing covering intimate parts for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification,” and is punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment. The fact is that the young kid was of sound mind, and old enough to understand the importance of consent, regardless of whether or not the kiss incident was a dare. In addition, this issue further emphasizes the importance of sex education from a young age.
This year in the province of Ontario, in Canada, a new sex-ed program has been implemented with the intention of raising awareness among young students on the importance of consent, even if it is something seemingly innocent as a kiss. CBC News also states that the new curriculum will address issues such as “gender identity, like lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans sexualities, sexual activity amongst young people.”
In addition, the following is also taken into consideration.
“…the risks associated with communications technology, including sharing sexual photos or personal information and cyberbullying, and strategies to use the technologies safely.”
The program is one of the most advanced and up-to-date curriculums in Canada, and the goal is to avoid not only an arrest like the one that happened in Baltimore due to a kiss, but to ensure that students maintain an open mind to the different gender patterns that exist in today’s society. By educating children and teenagers about the meaning of the word “No” and the repercussions that can arise from planting a kiss when it is unwanted, perhaps students will understand that denying a dare could save them from a potential arrest while in school, and likely a future arrest as they continue into adulthood.
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