Calling Cops on Kids for Kissing at School Is Ridiculous

playgroundWhen I think "playground," I picture kids chasing each other around the jungle gym screeching about cooties. What I don't picture is two 12-year-olds swapping spit while their school administrator frantically dials the cops to come in and break up the liplock. Maybe that makes me old-fashioned, or just plain old. But before you pass me the bottle of Geritol, give me a little credit!

My gut reaction wasn't to shudder and call my sweet baby home from school so she'd be safe from the grubby lips of little boys. I wanted to smack that administrator upside the head. Calling the police? Really? Over one chaste consensual kiss between two almost teenagers?


They're 12! The cootie days are long gone, and it gets boring standing out there on the blacktop for 20 minutes. There's bound to be at least a little hormone-fueled experimenting out there as kids test the limits of what's acceptable "in public" behavior. It's a rite of passage.

All an administrator has to say is "knock it off you two," and it's over. No damage done. Punishing these kids beyond that is like bringing a firehose to put out a candle. It's just not that big a deal.

By 12, their friends have seen people kiss. They will not have their eyes burned at the mere sight. And by 12, the chances that these kids have talked about doing much worse is pretty high. I clearly recall sixth grade recess discussions centering on who had let who engage in a little boob groping action. If more adults spent time as flies on the wall at their local junior high, condom company stock would skyrocket.

One kiss on the playground sounds pretty sweet and pure when you think about it.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not giving my kiddo cart blanche to turn the playground into her personal sex club. Twelve-year-olds should not be going past first base anywhere! And school is, and should always be, a place where kids go to get an academic education, not make out.

But school is as much a place where our kids learn to navigate the social strata as it is one where they master the Pythagorean theorem. When a girl kisses a boy -- consensually -- on the lips in front of her classmates, you better believe those kids are getting an education in time and place ... just listen to the hisses and catcalls from the other kids. They won't want to do it again anytime soon by the time their friends get done with them.

A kid's first kiss has to happen somewhere. I kind of like the idea of it happening on the playground, where there are adults nearby to keep things from going too far too fast.

What's the playground atmosphere like for your tweens/teens? Are kids trying to test their limits like this?


Image via BFS Man/Flickr

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