Sex Crime

by J.D. Tuccille
September 29, 1996

Pity poor Johnathan Prevette. His dating technique may never fully recover.

Johnathan Prevette, you see, is that vilest of creatures — a sex offender. Mr. Prevette sexually harassed a colleague, was caught in the act by a supervisor, and has now been punished as harshly as his institution allows. You can bet that Prevette’s interactions with women will be rather different in the future.

The only problem is that Johnathan Prevette is six-years old. His offense? Giving a little girl in his class a peck on the cheek. And while Johnathan’s one-day suspension pales in draconian immediacy to the career-crushing penalties handed to his fellow “harassers” in the American workplace, we can only hope that his affectionate disposition will survive this brush with the forces of law-and-order, and the glare of CNN’s camera lights.

As you might expect, the school authorities in Johnathan’s home town of Lexington, North Carolina refuse to back down from their hard-earned moral high ground. School district spokes-flunky Jane Martin was quoted as saying: “A six-year-old kissing another six-year-old is inappropriate behavior. Unwelcome is unwelcome at any age.”

“Unwelcome touching” is the catchphrase of the moment, as the authorities try to downplay the charging of a bespectacled tyke under sexual harassment rules.

Lexington residents have their own take on the matter. The mayor calls the matter “an embarassment.” Others seem to agree with the owner of a local candy shop, who says the teacher who initiated the matter “... had a dirty mind to begin with.”

I think they’re being overly charitable. It would be a relief if Johnathan’s teacher and school principal Lisa Horn were nothing more than garden variety perverts — Freudian imputers of sexual motives to every childhood activity.

But I suspect that these people are much worse; that they’re self-appointed pleasure police — sex cops out to remake male-female relationships by molding young minds. After all, as NOW head Patricia Ireland said, boys like Johnathan Prevette “grow up to be workers at the Mitsubishi plant” — referring to the automobile plant infamous for cases of actual sexual harassment.

So far, the sex cops have been spectacularly unsuccessful with college-campus political correctness. By the time kids reach their late teens and early twenties, they’ve generally developed minds and ideas of their own. As bizarre as some campus regulations have become, they’ve sparked protests, resistance and — most humiliating of all — satire from students less-than-thrilled with the prospect of relationships as prescribed by the coital equivalent of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

But if you dare to be preposterous! Well, thinking big (or small, in this case) can bag young minds unprepared for acts of rebellion. A pattern of early rebukes might stand a better prospect of producing a properly indoctrinated generation of neurotic basket cases, too traumatized to consider soda and a movie, let alone inappropriate propositions or “unwelcome touching.”

Whuzzat? You say I make too much of an isolated — if bizarre — incident? Well, read what the New York Times had to say about the Lexington school system’s sexual harassment policy:

The exact origin of the policy is unclear, since Lexington school officials would not return calls today. But it appears to closely follow Federal definitions of sexual harassment. Under Federal education law, schools at all levels are required to have policies for dealing with sexual harassment.

The Jesuits used to say: “Give me a child by age five and I'll give you back a Catholic for life.”

Yeah, well, grab hold of Johnathan Prevette at age six, and maybe you can twist his mind for life.

Ah well, and so much for the power of argument. So back you go to Full Automatic or to my home page.

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Copyright (c) 1996 Jerome D. (Il Tooch) Tuccille. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Il Tooch is prohibited. Mess with me and I’ll use your polished skull as a beer mug.