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Right or Wrong: Suspended for Singing 'Sexy' Lyric

A Colorado first-grader was recently suspended for singing the popular LMFAO song "Sexy and I Know It."

Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting topics.

This week’s Moms Talk question relates to singing a pop song with questionable lyrics in school.

A first-grade boy in Colorado was suspended this week for singing the popular LMFAO song "I'm sexy and I know it," to a female classmate while standing in the lunch line. This is the second time the boy has been reprimanded for singing the song in school, according to published news reports. This time, the offense comes with a three-day suspension for sexual harassment. His mom says the punishment is unfair, stating "I could understand if he was fondling her, looking up her skirt, trying to look in her shirt. That, to me, is sexual harassment." In this week's Moms Talk, we want to know what you think:

Should schools be suspending students for singing?

Our Moms Council members include: 

  • Lisa Amey of Upper Milford Township is a stay-at-home mom to an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and longtime member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. 
  • Lisa Drew of Emmaus is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17 years of experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston of Emmaus has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, NJ in January.
  • Lisa Merk of Lower Macungie is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 12-year-old and 6-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.
  • Zoila Bonilla Paul of Bethlehem is a stay-at-home mom to two girls – a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old. Zoila is a member of her local “moms’ club” and says she is “well-versed in the fun that children can bring.”
  • Beth Sharpless of Emmaus works part time in a local emergency department as a nurse and part time from home as a customer support specialist. She has two children -- a boy who is almost 2 and a 5-year-old girl. She says they love spending time outdoors and dancing.
  • Jennifer Willenbrock of Nazareth is mom to two beautiful daughters, ages 5 and 6 weeks. She was previously employed by Catholic Charities, where she worked in a girl’s group home in Phillipsburg, N.J.  

If you would like to become a part of the Moms Council and/or have ideas for future Moms Talk questions, please email jennifer.marangos@patch.com.

Beth May 07, 2012 at 12:15 AM
I think suspending the child is a bit extreme. There are a lot of questions I have. After the first time it happened, was there a meeting with the parents? How was it handled the first time? What does that statement/lyric actually mean to the child? I wonder if he even knows the real meaning of it. Kids come up with the darndest things. I'll never forget when my (at that time) 4 year old daughter started singing "I like to move it, move it" from the movie Madagascar. I think a good discussion with the child and the involved parents should be enough to stop this behavior in the future. If the parents aren't involved, that's a different story and it may be a long road ahead for that kid.
Jennifer Marangos (Editor) May 07, 2012 at 01:43 PM
We actually had an issue with this song in my home. My older child came home from school very upset that he had been scolded for singing the song at recess, a song that he and his brother had been singing at home A LOT at the time. He said he had been told that "sexy" was a bad word and he felt AWFUL for saying a bad word. We had a long talk about the word "sexy" and the situations in which it is typically used and who can say the word to whom (husbands and wives could call each other sexy, but it would be wrong to call a teacher sexy). We then told him that it in our opinion sexy is not a bad word, explaining that people can call a sports car sexy, etc. Of course, it all ended with us saying "just don't sing it at school again."
tamarya May 07, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I think it is harsh, they have bigger issues in schools today to suspend a 6 yr old for singing a song, plus it is on the m&m commercial.
Mom of DnNnD May 07, 2012 at 06:19 PM
This is way too harsh. Thank you Tamarya for reminding us that this is indeed in an M&M commercial. My whole family sings this song including my 3 year old. It's a gag song has anyone seen the group that sings it! A six year old does not know the meaning of the song, and if they do, someone needs to look into that home situation. BTW, what this child did cannot be classified as sexual harrassment. The definition of sexual harassment is to torment, or confuse by continual persistent attacks, and/or questions. It has to be a situation that has happened more than once. But then again, this goes right with our current culture of - Don't offend or upset anyone.
Lisa Amey May 08, 2012 at 12:50 AM
I have heard my kids sing that song at home, and asked them if they knew what it was saying. They had no idea. I told them it wasn't a good idea to repeat words that they don't know, and to just ask me. I also told them it wasn't a good idea to sing this song in school.
tamarya May 08, 2012 at 11:43 AM
My mom even stated basically your last sentence, how can it be sexual harrassment if the child was not singing it too another student.
tamarya May 08, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Okay we all did not read the clear article to the story lol. It did state it was the second time reprimanded for singing the song and it was to a female student. Even that being the case, still too harsh because if either the child singing it or the one he was singing it too made them feel uncomfortable then they got a bigger concern, because no 6 yr old should understand the meaning of the song. And like I said before schools have bigger bullying and assaulting issues to deal with over a 6 yr old singing a song. If any remember the song "lets talk about sex", we used to sing that in school when it came out in junior high and no one was ever punished and I think junior high kids singing songs about sex should normally draw a bigger concern than a 6 yr old that should not even know the meaning of it.
tamarya May 08, 2012 at 01:56 PM
This is the type of stuff too that leads to parents getting frustrated with their kids because what they do at home you almost got to put it to a complete stop before they go to school and do something, which getting something through to a young kid like that sometimes leads to frustration. And if my grandmother were around to see this she would laugh at this one, because she told me when she drove bus in the late 70's to the early 80's she had to take a kindergartener to the principle because she was trying to hump another kindergartener saying "I just wanted to do to him like my mommy does to my daddy". My grandmother said the parents were called in and they all laughed about it and the principle said " watch what you do around her", now they would have thrown either the child or child's parents in jail.
Jennifer Elston May 08, 2012 at 02:03 PM
I think it *MIGHT* be an indication of problems to come since it was his second offense, and he clearly didn't heed his teacher's warning to stop. With that being said, I think the punishment was too harsh. I think maybe a better consequence was for him to write a note to the girl apologizing for his behavior and for him to, for instance, lose recess.
Mom of DnNnD May 19, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Actually this article and the original article in Colorado state that this was the second time he was reprimanded in school, but on this second time a girl was in front of him in the lunch line. The first time he did not sing it to a girl, let alone the same girl. Therefore, no harrassment has occured.

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