First Graders Caught 'With Their Pants Down' at School: How Did This Happen?

As much as I want to keep my little girl innocent and unaware of the things in the world that can hurt her, at least until she's 13, the universe —and this horrific story—are sending this parent obvious signals that the dreaded sex talk is going to happen at a younger age that I expected. Two first graders reportedly forced a 7-year-old girl to perform sex acts in a bathroom at their Ohio school.

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Because they are all so incredibly young, we don't have a lot of details about what, exactly, went on in the bathroom other than inappropriate touching, which one of the first graders reportedly initiated. The girl's mother says her daughter was forced to perform a sex act on one or both of the students and she's obviously fuming and refuses to let her little girl return to the school until it responds to the incident.

The teacher who didn't follow the school's bathroom policy and allowed the children to go to the restroom together was fired. Given that consequence, we assume the girl's parent wants the children involved in this sexual misconduct to be held responsible, but she hasn't made a statement about it.

The sad truth is: we can't predict how other children will speak to or treat our children. I don't believe in demonizing young people or in treating them like criminals who have adult motivations. It's very possible the child or children who initiated this are victims themselves of abuse—or have simply seen one of countless sex scenes played out in TV shows and movies.

I want to be sensitive to the "perpetrator's" circumstances, but that certainly doesn't help me, as a parent, feel any better about this incident.

More from The Stir: I'm Ready to Have the 'Sex Talk' With My 7-Year-Old

As the mother of a 3-year-old girl, I always assumed I wouldn't have to have the sex talk with my daughter until she was at least 10 or 11—in a perfect world, even a tad bit older. But this isn't the first time we've heard a story like this one, involving children so young that it's almost impossible to wrap our minds around this.

I'm not sure how much a 6-year-old mind can process about sex or their private parts, but I do know it isn't too young an age to drive the point home that NO ONE has the right to touch them there or force them to put their hands on their body. We can couch this as a matter of basic respect, if we feel they are too young to really grasp sexual motivation.

I don't want to have this talk with my daughter when she's in first grade. I want her to be trusting and secure in the belief that people are good. But I also want her to be protective of herself and know she can stand up for herself so that she, I pray, never becomes a victim of another child's sad, unfortunate circumstances.

At what age do you think we should talk to our kids about sex and not letting others touch them in an inappropriate manner? 

 

Image via Debs/Flickr

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