Two 5-year-olds were found naked and having sex in their classroom's bathroom. Their teacher, Kelly Mascio, reported the incident after she found the boy and girl undressed in the kindergarten bathroom at the school in Mullica Township in south New Jersey. The children admitted that they were "having sex." Of course, we can only hope that those are the words they used to describe what they did (maybe just undressing) thinking it was "sex" in their innocence.
Still, it's terrifying to hear. When we send our kids to school, we expect the teachers to step in for us -- to make sure our kids are safe and not doing anything awful or harmful to themselves or other children. I know there are rules and that teachers cannot accompany kids into the bathroom (at least it is that way in my kids' school), but how do two children go into the bathroom together -- the bathroom inside the classroom -- and have enough time to take their clothes off? Where was the supervision?
Mascio may lose her job -- she was suspended with pay as of now. She's been teaching for 15 years, and she did report the incident immediately. The police were also called. But the Board of Education has voted to bring charges against her. They are concerned about how parents as well as the board would ever be able to trust her leadership and supervision again. Yes, exactly that.
I'm wondering how these kids were in the bathroom together without someone noticing. For that long? Long enough for them to take their clothes off and do whatever "having sex" meant to them. How does this happen? We're talking about kindergarten. These kids are just 5 years old. Something went terribly wrong with the teacher not paying attention to where her students were. Was there an aide in the classroom? Was this teacher in charge of too many students at one time and this was part of the failure to supervise?
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I keep coming back to the fact that this was a bathroom that was in the classroom as opposed to a bathroom outside the classroom in a hallway. How did the teacher not know what was going on in her classroom? There are so many things that could happen in an instant and that's part of a teacher's job. She needs to know if these kids are hurting themselves, playing with scissors, cutting each other's hair, eating glue, being a bully, hitting or biting each other, even eating peanuts if they are terribly allergic. As a parent, I am trusting the teacher to make sure my kid is okay. Which is why I'm just left with more questions for this teacher, with the big one being: Where was she when this was happening? She was present but was she alert? Clearly not. Why wasn't she paying attention to what was going on around her, and why didn't she notice where the missing boy student and girl student were during this time?
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How does this make you feel as a parent? What if this were your child's classroom? How would you react?