No butts about it — a silly schoolyard game has turned into a serious legal battle for a 12-year-old girl who pinched a classmate’s butt in school. Breana Evans faces misdemeanor battery charges after pinching a boy’s butt at Milwee Middle School in Longwood, Florida. While authorities deemed the act “socially unacceptable,” it’s a game she says is common among her and her classmates. Students do this to get a reaction, which is usually funny, and Evans thought it was a joke. Well, no one’s laughing anymore.
While the boy reportedly didn’t want to press charges, his mother soon got involved and called deputies, wanting to prosecute for battery. Evans was booked into juvenile detention and is currently suspended from school, an overreaction her father could not believe in response to, well, “acting like a 12-year-old child.” Evans says she regrets the act because she had no idea it would lead to this type of consequence.
Who can blame her? What 12-year-old in their right mind would expect this kind of backlash for a harmless game?
Of course, as parents, we should teach our children to respect other people’s space and bodies, but at 12 years old, they are still at an age where they are testing the waters. They aren’t being malicious, for goodness’ sake — they’re at an age where butt jokes are still funny. There must be a better way to get across the point that we should keep our hands to ourselves than involving the police.
This overreaction, and the overprotective parenting that led to it, isn’t helping anyone. As parents, we need to trust our children to work out playground problems for themselves sometimes. If it’s truly bullying, tell a teacher. If it’s a game you’re uncomfortable with, stand up for yourself. This boy is missing out on an important chance to socialize and problem solve, not only now, but in the future as well. Sure, his butt won’t get pinched again, but he will also likely be ostracized because kids will be rightfully scared that he can’t take a joke.
Growing up is supposed to be uncomfortable from time to time. As a parent, it’s hard to keep your distance and not swoop in to “save” your child from every obstacle they come up against. However, it’s important that we do in order to let them grow into their own person, capable of taking on the world (one butt pinch at a time).