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Philadelphia Judge: No Expulsion For Kindergarten Touching

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A judge has overturned a kindergartner’s expulsion from a Philadelphia charter school for touching his teacher on the thigh.

Common Pleas Judge Paul Panepinto concludes the 6-year-old was merely trying to comfort his teacher after she said her legs hurt. The Legal Intelligencer first reported on the May 23 ruling.

Panepinto concludes that the First Philadelphia Charter School for Literacy abused its discretion. He says the teacher testified she gives hugs in the classroom, and could not define “inappropriate touching.”

The boy had been suspended three previous times, but the judge weighed only the final incident.

The family’s lawyer says he is now doing well in private school.

A lawyer for the school says the case is in mandatory mediation and will move to Commonwealth Court if it’s not resolved.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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