A 10-year-old boy was suspended from his Florida elementary school and faces a charge of misdemeanor battery after he was accused of inappropriately touching a school counselor during a hug, an allegation his family denies.

The counselor at Holly Hill School in Volusia County alleged that she was visiting a classroom on Oct. 24 to discuss something when the fourth-grader approached her for a hug, according to a police report and a copy of his suspension letter provided by attorneys for the boy’s family. She said she “turned sideways to give a side hug,” the letter says, and the child put one arm around her shoulder and with the other hand “reached and grabbed her left breast.” The counselor said she removed his hand and he walked away, the letter says.

The child’s family disputes the counselor’s version of events. Attorney Rawsi Williams said the boy says it was the counselor who initiated the hug. “All he did was go up to hug her. It was nothing more than that for him. He then went back to his desk, talked with his other football playmates,” she said.“The next thing he knew, the teacher calls him up and accuses him of having groped this lady. [The child] denied it, but even with him denying it, they still suspended him. They still called the police on him. The [counselor] still told the police that she wanted to pursue criminal battery charges against this 10-year-old kid.”

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