I heard Rush Limbaugh talking about this yesterday, and I see this morning that Glenn Reynolds — calling the boy "the littlest casualty in the war on men" — is linking to James Taranto — who's blaming Obama (because of a requirement that schools protect students from sexual harassment).
I agree that someone that young should not be labeled with an offense that contains the word "sexual." (The school district, barraged with criticism, has relabeled his offense "misconduct.") And I would locate the issue of suspending him within the larger problem of the "zero tolerance" approach.
But I do think that the school is right to forbid kissing. The boy's mother, who naturally wants to defend her child, tells us that the children were "boyfriend and girlfriend" and that the girl "was fine with it." That may make the misbehavior less severe, but it does not take it out of the range of what a school should forbid.
By the boy's report, it happened "during class, yeah": "We were doing reading group and I leaned over and kissed her on the hand." That isn't acceptable in-class behavior! The school should forbid that. I don't understand saying it's fine for boys and girls who like each other to freely express that affection with hand kissing during class. How about a little support for the school teachers who expect discipline during their lessons? You're not allowed to whisper back and forth or pass notes either. This is basic classroom respect. Have we all forgotten?