The principal of a school in North Carolina has been forced to retire after accusing a nine-year-old pupil of sexual harassment.

Emanyea Lockett was suspended from Gaston's Brookside Elementary for three days after being overheard telling another pupil that his teacher was "cute".

An investigation was carried out by school officials, who found that Emanyea had done nothing wrong. Head teacher Jerry Bostic then stepped down.

Bostic, who had worked in education for 44 years, told Fox News that he was told he would be dropped to assistant principal if he didn't quit.

"I admit I made some errors in what I did, but to fire me or demote me with 44 years in it, it just doesn't make sense," he said

"This is something that everyone needed to see, just to see what's happening to our school systems," Chiquita Lockett, Emanyea's mother, told WSOC-TV.

Student, 9, Suspended for Sexual Harassment for Calling Teacher 'Cute'