6-year-old suspended for ‘sexual harassment’ for a kiss on hand

Also home of the Alcatraz of the Rockies – for you prison buffs

A Colorado mother said her 6-year-old son has “sexual harassment” on his record for kissing a girl he feels mutual affection for on the hand.

Jennifer Saunders said her son, Hunter Yelton, a first grader in Canon City, was suspended from school for the entire day Monday because of an incident that took place in class last week.

“It was during class yeah. We were doing reading group and I leaned over and kissed her on the hand. That’s what happened,” Hunter Yelton said.

Saunders said her son and the girl he kissed have a mutual affection for each other.

“She was fine with it, they are ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’. The other children saw it and went to the music teacher. That was the day I had the meeting with the principal, where she first said ‘sexual harassment’. This is taking it to an extreme that doesn’t need to be met with a 6 year old. Now my son is asking questions. … what is sex mommy? That should not ever be said, sex. Not in a sentence with a 6 year old,” Saunder said.

Officials with School District RE-1 said the boy’s actions fit the district’s definition of sexual harassment. They said school records remain within the district.

Yelton, who was previously suspended for rough housing and kissing the same girl on the cheek, was scheduled to return to school Tuesday morning.

Obviously, everyone has been warned to keep an eye on the young Lothario and turn his butt in if he looks longingly at something dearer than a cupcake.

The Nanny State is ready to apply Christian puritanism as the rules governing life regardless of age. Poisonally, if you want to raise your children as if normal life is a den of iniquity – yank them out of public school – and take the teachers and administrators who think the same – with you.

I used to pass through Canon City every other week when I was on the road. Looked like a nice little town seeking nature tourists, folks who enjoyed flyfishing. Good thing I never stopped on the outskirts to pee in the bushes. I might have been arrested for attempted rape of a trout.

Do the Azores support one species or two species of orchid? The answer now appears to be three!

Researchers studying speciation of butterfly orchids on the Azores have been startled to discover that the answer to a long-debated question “Do the islands support one species or two species?” is actually “three species.” Hochstetter’s Butterfly-orchid, newly recognized following application of a battery of scientific techniques and reveling in a complex taxonomic history worthy of Sherlock Holmes, is arguably Europe’s rarest orchid species. Under threat in its mountain-top retreat, the orchid urgently requires conservation recognition…

The research team, led by independent botanist Prof. Richard Bateman in collaboration with local botanist Dr. Mónica Moura…and plant morphologist Dr. Paula Rudall…originally viewed these butterfly-orchids as a simple, tractable system ideal for studying the origin of species and so they initiated a focused exploration of all nine Azorean islands.

A combination of field and laboratory research soon showed that butterfly-orchids first colonized the Azores from the Mediterranean rather than from North America, rapidly undergoing miniaturization of their ancestrally large flowers. It proved easy to distinguish the widespread Short-spurred Butterfly-orchid (Platanthera pollostantha) from the rarer Narrow-lipped Butterfly-orchid (P. micrantha) using morphology, DNA sequences, and the identities of mycorrhizal fungi associated with the roots of the orchids. However, this ‘simple’ study was thrown into disarray when Dr. Moura explored remote dwarfed laurisilva forests along the highest volcanic ridge on the central island of São Jorge and found an unusual population of butterfly orchids…

Bateman then realised that this “new” orchid had in fact been illustrated (but never correctly identified as a new species) in the first ever Flora of the islands, published in 1844, but thereafter had consistently been confused with other more frequent Azorean species. The illustrated specimen, deposited in the herbarium at Tübingen by German botanist Karl Hochstetter, was collected during his tour of six of the nine Azorean islands in 1838…

In the meantime, the team are anxious to obtain conservation protection for the newly-recognized and exceptionally rare orchid. “This remarkable species languished unrecognized for 173 years,” commented Bateman. “It’s rediscovery and recognition beautifully illustrate the value of integrating field-based and laboratory-based approaches to generate a modern monograph. This methodology both demonstrates that the species is genuine and allows us to make informed recommendations for its future conservation.”

What a delightful tale. Can you imagine being part of this search and discovery?

The Azores are a beautiful and wonderful enough place to experience on their own. Add in the quest for knowledge rewarded by what actually is a rediscovery – you expand the symbiotic qualities of science and nature.

Gay teacher fired from Catholic school — Did you think the new pope changed old bigots?

Vincent Giannetto and his partner Michael Griffin

A gay teacher says he was fired from his job at a suburban Philadelphia Catholic school after applying for a marriage license with his partner.

Officials at Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Bensalem said Michael Griffin, who taught Spanish and French at the private all-boys school until he was fired Friday, had violated his contract when he applied for a marriage license with his same-sex partner in New Jersey.

Today I applied for a marriage license since NJ now has marriage equality,” Griffin posted on his Facebook page. “After 12 years together I was excited to finally be able to marry my partner. Because of that, I was fired from Holy Ghost Preparatory School today. I am an alumnus of the school and have taught there for 12 years. I feel hurt, saddened, betrayed and except for this post, am at a loss for words.”

Griffin said he had sent an email to school administrators informing them of his intentions, not expecting to be terminated given that his relationship had not been a secret among school faculty and staff, WCAU-TV, Philadelphia, reported.

“I’ve been with my partner for more than 12 years, the entire time I’ve been teaching at the school,” Griffin told the TV station. “He’s been to numerous school functions with me…”

The Rev.James McCloskey, the school’s headmaster, confirmed in a statement that Griffin was fired over his application for a same-sex marriage license…”…this decision contradicts the terms of his teaching contract at our school, which requires all faculty and staff to follow the teachings of the church as a condition of their employment.

Of course, if state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court, had the courage to follow our Constitution, they would support the rule that contracts that violate state and federal law aren’t legal and binding.

The crap “tradition” defense is as useless as any other line of bull from bigots. Cripes, I recall passage of the Civil Rights Law freeing up the trade union I belonged to at the time. The national union constitution only allowed the president to be white and male.

Republicans on the Supreme Court are as beholden to the “higher power” of bigotry as today’s Roman Catholic church. Mail me a penny postcard when justice unexpectedly breaks out.

New terminal puts Shenzen star on global architecture map

After a build time of only three years and a budget of $1 billion, the new Terminal 3 Building at Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, designed by Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, makes a dramatic architectural statement. This is the first airport project for the Rome-based architects and one intended to launch them into the frontline of high-design transport terminals.

The building runs 1.5 km in length, covering an internal area of half a million square meters. But its most striking achievement may be its unusual form, which the architects liken to a “manta ray,” and its textured “double” skin.

…The project wears the sculptural design with the confidence of a major international hub, a sign of the city’s growing prominence within China, but also of the country’s continuing penchant for large-scale, high-profile architecture commissions…

The vast interiors, the architects say, emphasize the theme of “fluidity … the idea of movement and the idea of pause.” This means that, in addition to designing a visually stimulating environment, they focused on the practicalities of processing times, walking distances, ease of orientation and crowding. But these necessities aside, it’s easy to see an edgy sci-fi film being set in and around the sleek, organic elements.

The client, Shenzhen Airport Group, is said to be so pleased with the results that it is taking steps to try to copyright the design. Studio Fuksas are working on two further phases of development on the airport, due for completion in 2025 and 2035.

Wow! Kudos to the administration of the Shenzhen Airport Group for accepting such a daring design. Studio Fuksas are someone worth following forward to what should be a brilliant architectural career.