‘Punished Before the Facts’: Fourth Grader Faces Assault Charges After Counselor Accuses Him of Groping Her During a Hug

A fourth grade Florida student has been suspended from school and now faces criminal charges after his school health counselor accuses him of inappropriately touching her. The adult claims the 10-year-old grabbed her breast, after pretending to give her a hug — allegations his family insist are distorted.

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Teacher accuses student of groping her during a hug. (Photo by Maskot)

On Monday, Oct. 24, a staffer at the Holly Hill School in Volusia County said she was groped by a student when she visited his classroom to talk to his teacher.

A police report and suspension letter graphically detailed the act, saying, as the counselor “turned sideways to give a side hug,” the little boy placed one of his arms around her shoulder and “reached and grabbed her left breast” with his other hand, NBC News reports.

In response, according to a school-issued suspension letter shared by the family’s lawyer, the counselor says she moved his hand from her chest area, prompting him to walk away.  

A police report says the Holly Hills Police Department was called immediately after the incident, with the counselor claiming he “cupped her left breast in a disrespectful way,” leaving her no choice but to “forcibly remove his hand.” The youth now faces a misdemeanor battery charge.

Attorneys hired to represent the interest of the child and his family, say, he is being falsely accused.

According to the lawyers, the school did not properly investigate the allegations and suspended the boy for ten school days, returning on Tuesday, Nov. 8, without considering his disputing of the counselor’s account. Family members say the story presented is one-sided.

Volusia County Schools declined to comment on the incident.

“My grandson has been accused of something and then punished before the facts,” the child’s grandfather said. “We will not stand for it.” 

USA Today reports the boy’s grandmother and legal guardian, Lakesha Hollins, also believes the boy did nothing wrong, “We’re talking about a 10-year-old being kicked out of school for what possibly could have been an accident.”

“My grandson said with the hug, she did grab his hand and hold his hand up, and he didn’t really know why she did it,” Hollins continued. “He said she let his hand go and then he walked back to his seat and then he began to talk to other students. They were talking about football.”

The identity of both the accuser and the accused is being withheld in the press. The boy’s name is not revealed because he is a minor, however, the counselor’s name is protected because she has invoked Marsy’s Law, which in Florida allows alleged crime victims to remain anonymous.

“There’s no witnesses, [just] her word against his,” the grandmother added. “He’s only 10.”

No witnesses have been made public, but the fourth-grader’s teacher states in a police report that she was in the classroom during the alleged incident. She also says she didn’t see what the counselor claims.

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