The 9-year-old student who was suspended from a Gastonia, N.C. school for allegedly calling a teacher “fine,” has had his suspension reversed.
Emanyea Lockett was overheard by a substitute teacher making remarks that the school principal deemed as sexual harassment. Lockett denies calling the teacher “fine” and instead says he used the word “cute.”
A letter that was sent to his mother, Chiquita Lockett, explained that Emanyea was warned about his use of offensive language in the past. His mother says she was never notified of the warnings when her son came home early from school.
According to Fox News, she said the principal, Jerry Bostic, of Brookside Elementary called her Wednesday after the incident and said Emanyea’s comment was “sexual harassment,” and that he was being suspended for two days.
Lockett's mother informed the district of Bostic suspending her son on the grounds of sexual harassment. After investigating, Gaston County school officials found there were no grounds for deeming the incident as harassment. The school district issued an apology to the boy’s mother.
“I said Ms. Taylor was cute, and that’s it. That’s all I said,” the 9- year-old told WSOCTV.
A spokeswoman from the school district said Emanyea was suspended for “inappropriate behavior” and making “inappropriate statements,” reported WSOCTV.
The Principal was given one hour to decide if he would retire or be fired. Bostic chose to retire but told WSOC, “I made a mistake, but I’ve worked for Gaston County Schools for 44 years and (Superintendent) Reeves McGlohon could have cared less.”
“One mistake in 44 years. And I’m not given the benefit of the doubt,” Bostic said. “I really don't believe I was treated fairly.”