22 January 2011

Northern California, Second Graders, and Oral Sex...

Yes, if you are shaking your head at the title of this post, then you are not alone. As I read through the article that I found on Yahoo earlier, and which forms the basis for this post, I was shaking my head too and wondering how it is that this sort of behaviour can happen.

The story originates out of Markham Elementary School in Oakland. The principal was forced to notify parents that a teacher was placed on leave while the school investigates claims that students were not only disruptive in class, but had in fact stripped off and engaged in sexual acts, oral sex to be precise. Preliminary investigations by the school indicate that the complaints have merit and warrant even further investigation.

According to the school, "We believe if the reports are true, there was a serious lapse of judgment or lack of supervision in the classroom." The school then went on to say "We're investigating how could this have happened. It seems unthinkable to us, just the same way it does to the public." Do you think?

The male teacher claims that he was unaware of any of the alleged acts and has stated unequivocally that he did not witness anything that has so far been suggested. Yet, as a teacher, I find it difficult to believe that if he was present in the classroom as he is required to be, then it is pretty hard not to witness children getting their gear off and engaging in sex acts, particularly when these children are in the second grade.

More disturbing is how children of 7, 8 or perhaps 9 years of age are aware of this kind of behaviour. Personally, I cannot recall when I became aware of oral sex, but I am absolutely certain I was not thinking about it in the second grade. As I recall, I did not even get the benefit of sex education, or as it was called at the time "personal development" class, until I was in Year 9 (Ninth Grade).

The school maintains that it is doing everything in its power to ensure that this does not happen again. The school has also offered counselling and any other assistance required to help those children who were involved.

I am still shaking my head. How does something like this happen on seemingly such a large scale in a classroom?

The mind boggles.

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