The West

A four-year-old child was punished for kissing another child at a Perth school, prompting her mother to withdraw her.

Karen Jones, principal of Gibbs Street Primary School, in East Cannington, confirmed the child was given a brief "time-out" on a mat in her kindergarten classroom about two weeks ago after she kissed another child repeatedly.

She said the school did not have a policy on kissing, but the girl had kissed another child several times who did not want to be kissed.

“In our school we teach the children that everyone needs to respect each other’s personal boundaries and not to touch others when they do not want that to happen,” she said.

She said that using a brief “time-out” was a common method for early childhood educators to manage behaviour.

Ms Jones said that to pull a child out of school completely on the basis of a time-out was the parent’s choice, but it was disappointing she had chosen to take that course of action.

Education Department deputy director-general for schools David Axworthy said he backed the school in making the necessary decision to teach a child appropriate behaviour.

The child’s mother could not be contacted for comment.

The kissing incident comes after a South-west school made national headlines for banning students from hugging. The ban was later lifted.

The West Australian

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