AP: Kindergartners Youngest Assault Victims
May 01, 2017
Sending a Kindergartner to school today is more worrisome than many parents would care to admit. An investigation by the Associated Press reveals that the little ones are among the youngest victims assaulted in schools and by older peers. According to the research, most sexual assaults of children by other children happened at a private residence, but schools were the second-most common location, representing about 9 percent of the total incidents.
The Associated Press reports that the emotions experienced by the children ranged between confusion, fear and hurt. In their own words, they did their best to convey what other students had done to them in the school restroom, the gym and the bus. What their families learned left them shaken and set up an unexpected, adversarial relationship with their school districts.
Student-on-student sexual assaults rise significantly during middle-school years, an Associated Press analysis of federal crime data found. But even as early as kindergarten and first grade, children can be at risk: About 5 percent of all sexual attacks reported on school property in a recent two-year period happened to 5 and 6 year olds, according to the AP analysis.
Little boys made up about 41 percent of the youngest victims. Among teens, boys comprised only about 10 percent of reported victims.
Overall, the data showed children were almost always violated by someone their own age. Unwanted fondling was the most common type of assault; about 20 percent of the victims were subjected to rape, sodomy or other form of penetration.
Most sexual assaults of children by other children happened at a private residence, but schools were the second-most common location, representing about 9 percent of the total incidents.
AP’s analysis was based on the most recent two years of available data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System, which contains crime reports from about a third of the nation’s law enforcement agencies. Some of the nation’s largest cities are not represented in the voluntary reporting program, however, and the data does not reveal the outcome of cases.
A brief summary of the cases of some of the littlest victims AP found are listed below:
Allentown School District-Allentown, Pennsylvania, 2003-2004, 2013
After the first-grader came home from Jefferson Elementary School in 2013 and told his mother that his “pee-pee hurt,” she found him red, swollen and bloody. While washing his hands at a bathroom sink, he said, an older student had pulled down his pants, grabbed his penis and punched him in the face. The student warned, “If you tell, I’m going to do this again,” court records show. The district said it investigated and ultimately disputed the allegation, but paid a settlement to end the family’s lawsuit.
Gwinnett County Public Schools-Suwanee, Georgia, 2016
The 5-year-old cried in his mother’s car after school, saying he didn’t want to be friends with a classmate anymore. He later confided to his stepsister what he’d been too scared to tell anyone else: A fellow kindergartner at Level Creek Elementary School had threatened to punch him in the face if he didn’t pull down his pants, according to a police report filed by the boy’s family. Frightened, the boy said he did as he was told and his classmate performed oral sex on him. The investigation remains open.
Monroe County Schools-Peterstown, West Virginia, 2016
The 6-year-old stepped off the school bus on a cold January day with his coat open. A relative waiting to pick him up offered to fasten it. Instead, the kindergartener wanted help zipping and buttoning his pants, explaining that an older student had been playing a “doctor” game on him. In an interview with a child-abuse examiner, the boy said he had been forced into oral sex and fondled several times by the older student, then age 16. Police reviewed the bus’s surveillance camera footage and corroborated at least one sexual assault against the boy, along with other suspicious behavior by the other student, according to his family’s lawsuit.
San Diego Unified School District-San Diego, California, 2013-2014
The 5-year-old kindergartner came home from Green Elementary school in May 2013 and told his parents about a “gross thing” that had happened in the school bathroom: A classmate had pulled down his pants, sucked his penis and demanded the boy reciprocate. The boy’s parents alerted the principal, who later testified that he reported the incident to child protective services. But when they followed up with him before the start of the next school year, the principal acted as if he didn’t know what they were talking about, according to a letter from the parents’ attorney.
Lincoln County School District-Newport, Oregon, 2009-2010
For months, the parents of five first-grade students at Sam Case Elementary attributed their children’s behavioral problems to the recent merger of two schools. One mother told AP her son had nightmares and soiled his pants. A second child protested daily, “I don’t want to go to school!” Only later, the child’s mother said, did she learn that her 6-year-old daughter had been groped in the classroom reading corner and threatened with death if she told anyone. State records show that another parent complained his son had witnessed a 6-year-old exposing himself on a school bus. School officials were first alerted in fall 2009 to a possible problem with the boy accused in both incidents when his family sought help in dealing with “problems at home,” including bed-wetting. The principal and staff members met later with the boy’s parents to discuss “inappropriate touching of other students,” state records show. But no one from the school notified the state’s child welfare office, law enforcement or any of the other children’s parents.
For a more detailed description of each case click to read full AP article here.
Associated Press article / TRUNEWS summary.
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