Elementary School Teacher Says He Was Arrested for Giving Kids 'Hugs'

Could a man get arrested for hugging little kids? That's what one man is claiming happened to him. Omil Carrasquillo, 36, an elementary school teacher in Brooklyn, New York, is charged with "groping" nine girls as young as 8 years old, but the teacher, who was honorably discharged from the Army after four years, says he was doing nothing but hugging the girls and occasionally would touch them on the back or shoulder while leaning over them while they did their schoolwork.


Carrasquillo also says he had to break up one fight and probably touched the girl in the process. But he pleaded not guilty and says his touches were not lascivious.

He's since resigned from his job and the city says he can never work in education again. Said his lawyer:

He’s absolutely disturbed by the allegations. He’s completely thrown off by all of this. He’s shocked.

Wow, you have to wonder what happened here. Was there really a predator in the school, or was this a caring man who instinctively dispensed hugs and a touch on the shoulder when correcting work?

Charges of this nature have to be taken seriously, of course. But do we live in such a culture of fear that anyone who touches a child in any way could be deemed a child molester?

Honestly, I'd hate to be anyone who works with children these days. What if a kid gets sick? Do you not touch her shoulder to comfort her? What if one falls? Do you not pick him up?

I'm not saying that's what happened in this case; presumably, the state did its job and thoroughly investigated the charges and determined there was probable cause to move forward. The investigation began when a 10-year-old said he "patted her breasts." This seems like the kind of thing a 10-year-old would be sure about!

But you have to wonder if it's worth it even working with children these days. Anything can be misconstrued. It used to be that no one believed what children had to say, and it's good that that time is over. But we seem to have swung like maniacs to the other direction, where anything a kid says is taken as gospel and perhaps twisted around to be something other than what it is.

It remains to be seen what a jury says about this particular case.

Do you think a teacher should ever hug a child?

Image via reynermedia/Flickr

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