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Sexual harassment? Boy, 7, accused after groin punch

A 7-year-old boy has been accused of sexual harassment after punching a fellow first-grader in the groin, but the boy's mother says he was acting in self-defense.

Tasha Lynch told The Boston Globe that her son, Mark Curran, was being choked during the Nov. 22 incident on a school bus, and has been afraid to go back to school in South Boston ever since.

“I think my kid was right to fight back [after he was choked],’’ she said. “He wasn’t doing anything except protecting himself.’’

A spokesman for the Boston public schools confirmed the incident had been classified as possible sexual harassment, but declined to comment it. Curran faces suspension or being transferred to another school if his actions are deemed to be sexual harassment, according to a letter from his school.

“Any kind of inappropriate touching would fall under that category,’’ school spokesman Matthew Wilder said to The Globe. “The school administration is conducting a full investigation that has not concluded yet. Certainly, once that investigation is through, we’ll then make a final conclusion as to who will be disciplined and how.’’

Boy took his gloves, choked him, kid says
Lynch said she could tell her son was upset when she picked him up from the bus stop after school on Nov. 22. She said she asked him what was wrong, and he told her another boy had choked him and taken his new gloves.

Furious, Lynch said she went up to the bus driver and demanded to know what had happened.

“He just smiled and shrugged,’’ she said. She called school officials but no one got back to her, so the following week she had her older son took Mark into the principal's office to tell her, reported The Globe.

“I just thought they were going to call the parents, tell us both to come in and make the boys shake hands,’’ Lynch said. Or, at least, make the other boy return her son's gloves. Instead, Tynan Elementary school officials began questioning Mark about his role in the scuffle.

“They didn’t believe me,’’ Curran told The Globe on Thursday. “I didn’t get my gloves back.’’

Tynan Elementary School Principal Leslie Gant didn't believe that Mark was acting out of self-defense, Lynch told The Globe.

“She said, ‘It doesn’t matter who hit who first,’ ’’ Lynch said. “‘He said he hit him in the testicles. That’s assault. That’s sexual assault.’"

I said: ‘The kid choked my son first and that’s called attempted murder. He said he couldn’t breathe.’’’

The school sent a letter to stating her son was accused of sexual harassment and endangering physical safety of other students.

A hearing for Curran will be held on Monday.

Lynch has told the school she doesn't want her son riding the bus without an adult there to make sure he's safe.

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