A kindergartner should not have been expelled for touching his teacher's thigh, a Philadelphia judge has ruled. The judge believes the 6-year-old student was simply sympathizing with his teacher after she said her legs hurt: "I wanted to make them feel better," the boy said, as reported by The Legal Intelligencer. First Philadelphia Charter School for Literacy's decision to expel the kindergartner was "Arbitrary, capricious, and prejudicial to the public interest and was a gross abuse of discretion," the ruling said.
The teacher testified that hugs are commonplace in her classroom, and could not define "inappropriate touching"—though she said the touching made her feel uncomfortable. During the seven months the boy was enrolled at the school, it was the fourth disciplinary action, after three suspensions. A lawyer for the boy's family says he is now doing well in a new private school. A lawyer for the charter school says the case is in mandatory mediation, and will move to Commonwealth Court if it's not resolved.