General chatter - what would you do?




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kittycat40
06-13-2008, 11:38 PM
My son tells me that there are three or four boys who play together in the schoolyard. They touch each others' privates. My son tells me they have been found out by lunch/recess aids who have done nothing about it.
There is one boy in particular who is the instigator. When the others play w/o him, this does not happen. ( I have long since discontinued playdates with this one boy.)
My son does not participate but does watch his friends. We have had many talks about what is private and what is shared.
School is over in one week. (these are kindergarten children)

what would you do?


HarpoChicoGroucho
06-13-2008, 11:55 PM
From 10 years of working with children, and taking many classes on identifying abuse, I can say that the instigator throws up a huge red flag. Children who are interested in touching and playing with other children's privates are very possibly being sexually abused. I wouldn't be so concerned if they were just showing their privates (it's pretty common with boys), but the touching is pretty alarming. I would seriously consider contacting child services. If I was the educator of the child, I would.

vixjean
06-13-2008, 11:59 PM
Not trying to be rude but are you serious? I would call everyone I could (this is coming from a lady with no kids) but IMO call child services, the principal, the person in charge at lunch (do you really think they do NOTHING?) OMG! I would even spy on the situation myself to see what is REALLY going on.


shelby897
06-14-2008, 12:06 AM
I can not believe no one is doing anything. We've had a few incidents of sex talk/play over the last four years (K to 3rd) -- each time, a letter has come home enlightening the parent's on what occured (not who), what was done to handle it and that the whole class would be talked to about appropriate behavior. That's totally inappropriate (for the participants and the children who are forced to see this). If this is allowed to go on in K -- god knows what will happen in first!!

I'm going to be a teacher's aide this fall - in NY if I did not report this type of behavior to the appropriate individuals, I would lose my job and possibly be arrested.

As a mother, if one of my boys was participating in something like this, they better take care of it and call me or I would be down there on my "witchy broomstick" in two minutes reaming out someone!!

Good luck!

preetyladyserenity
06-14-2008, 05:52 AM
I agree with HarpoChicoGroucho. Many cases show that little children that try to touch other children's privates are most likely in a sexually abusive relationship. Also if a grown-up has seen them and done nothing, I think you should have a serious talk with the kindergarten's supervisor.

kittycat40
06-14-2008, 08:45 AM
I agree that it seems as tho this boy was hurt by someone. The problem facing me is that his mother is a friend/acquaintance of mine and she is somewhat insane and very much in denial. When our boys were together in preschool this problem began. There was much discussion but she refuses to consider anything othr than nirmalcy. I know when biys are at her house she does not allow her son privacy. But he is insidious and will try anything to get a kid alone to play his penis games.
Did I mention she is extremely well connected in this town?

Darkblue
06-14-2008, 09:47 AM
KittyCat, this has to be dealt with--if someone were doing this to YOUR child, what would you want the responsible adults in his life to do, when they suspected abuse?

It's the law in my state that if a teacher suspects abuse, that she MUST contact the principal or the authorities.

One week of school doesn't matter--what might happen to this poor child over the summer, out of sight of everyone else?

You all must talk to the Kindergarten director and push for a report to be filed.

KLK
06-14-2008, 10:17 AM
OMG, call child services or something other agency immediately. As others have said, children aren't born wanting to fondle other kids' penises; it's something they "learn" from the adults in their lives. That poor kid...!

aphil
06-14-2008, 10:45 AM
Hmmm...

I would have to say, in all honesty, not to jump the gun on this one. Kids play "doctor" more than one might realize...it does not mean that this child is automatically being sexually abused. I would avoid, at this particular time, calling child protective services. Instead, I would request a conference with the principal, teacher, etc. at the school.

This is private, but when I was a kid, there was some show and tell/playing doctor going on as well, and I was not sexually abused at ALL-and neither were my friends/cousins/etc. My husband told me (when I mentioned this thread) the same thing. Neither of us were abused as children-physically, sexually, or otherwise. We are talking kindergarten here...I would be more worried if these kids were in 2nd or 3rd grade and the same thing were happening.

I am only saying this, because you don't want the possibility of a child being taken away from his home, if nothing is going on. Talk with the teacher and principal FIRST. Then, it is their responsibiltiy to discuss this with the child's parents...or you can call a conference and request that the other mother be present.

In my opinion, it isn't a behavior that is always "learned from an adult". Potty games/humor rears its head pretty early in school...

Now, I am not saying that nothing is happening to this child...but I am saying that no one knows for sure at this point, and it isn't fair to make assumptions.

CountingDown
06-14-2008, 01:05 PM
Having worked in an elementary school and even very briefly as a recess aide - I agree with Aphil on this one.
Contact the school principal and/or school social worker/counselor. Request a meeting to discuss the subject. Ask them to keep you informed regarding any results of their investigation and let them know that you are expecting them to investigate. At that point, they are legally obligated to do so. They will contact the appropriate personnel with DCF if warranted.

GradPhase
06-14-2008, 01:12 PM
I also agree with Aphil on this.

I think it would probably be a mistake to call Child Services this early, without more information. Kids are kids, and part of being a kid is exploring all those things that are new to them or unexplored, modesty issues be damned.

But it certainly does warrant concerned. My first thought was "Woah. Huge red flag" as well.

I do think you've done a great job with YOUR son and the way you've handled this though, so bravo for that one, mom!

I'd call the teacher, principal and school counselor and ask to meet with them about it.

kittycat40
06-14-2008, 01:34 PM
As I mentioned before, for me this is a long standing issue. And now I've learned the boys involved do this "play naked" thing not only when the ring leader is around.
I really don't want to be connected to an investigation going on.
My neighbor now has a head's up b/c I separated my son out of a private room her son and the (most often ringleader) were in--playing naked this happened yesterday, leading to full disclosure from my son-- as full as one can get from a 6year old. And I told a good friend of mine to talk to her son about this issue. She was very dissmissive.
There are 2 full days of school and two half days left.

JulieJ08
06-14-2008, 02:18 PM
Kids will certainly have some normal play, but sneaking away to do it, on repeated occasions, is not the same thing.

kittycat40
06-16-2008, 12:09 PM
I informed the other's mothers. There will be lots of discussions about appropriate play and what is meant to be private.

If (and I assume it will, b/c I know the boy) this continues in the upcoming school year, you can be guaranteed I will notify the school principal and the school counselor.

shelby897
06-16-2008, 01:00 PM
I think you handled it very well -- I've run into quite a few parents who think this play is acceptable and just kids "getting to know their bodies" -- I personally do not find it acceptable and agree they are entitled to raise their children any way they want, unti it infringes on other children's rights and comfort levels. See, I'm still one of those moms who can't say "penis" to my two sons :D

Good luck -- you are a great mom!!! :)

branflake
06-16-2008, 01:37 PM
Hmmm...

I would have to say, in all honesty, not to jump the gun on this one. Kids play "doctor" more than one might realize...it does not mean that this child is automatically being sexually abused. I would avoid, at this particular time, calling child protective services. Instead, I would request a conference with the principal, teacher, etc. at the school.

This is private, but when I was a kid, there was some show and tell/playing doctor going on as well, and I was not sexually abused at ALL-and neither were my friends/cousins/etc. My husband told me (when I mentioned this thread) the same thing. Neither of us were abused as children-physically, sexually, or otherwise. We are talking kindergarten here...I would be more worried if these kids were in 2nd or 3rd grade and the same thing were happening.

I am only saying this, because you don't want the possibility of a child being taken away from his home, if nothing is going on. Talk with the teacher and principal FIRST. Then, it is their responsibiltiy to discuss this with the child's parents...or you can call a conference and request that the other mother be present.

In my opinion, it isn't a behavior that is always "learned from an adult". Potty games/humor rears its head pretty early in school...

Now, I am not saying that nothing is happening to this child...but I am saying that no one knows for sure at this point, and it isn't fair to make assumptions.

ITA! This was actually a discussion another board I talk on about a month ago. More disturbing than anything was that the OP (on the other board) said that it wouldn't be as big of a deal if the children were opposite sex. Homophobic much? :(

If the children are just doing this just as an "experiment" and out of curiosity instead of one of them being sexually abused, now that it has come out into the open they will probably still do it, just get better at hiding it.

Hat Trick
06-16-2008, 06:31 PM
I really don't want to be connected to an investigation going on.


Why are you leaving this to someone else to handle?? Honestly, I don't get it. If it were my kid I be AT THE SCOOL in person, DEMANDING answers. Doesn't matter if the 'ringleader' is being abused or not -- that isn't something you are going to be able to prove and I'm w/other posters on this issue -- BUT, my GOD how can you not do anything? Just wait until school is over and then what? School will roll around in a few months and the problem will likely still exist and possibly be worse. What happens if this goes unchecked and girls start getting involved?

My son, who is special needs, got a yeast infection on his penis when he was around 6 or 7. It was very itchy and took a long time to finally go away (doctor was NOT clear on directions for apply salve but that's another story . . .). Anyway, he was always rubbing it because it itched. The infection went away but he had gotten into the habit of rubbing himself. We gave it a few weeks to 'lose it's novelty' b/4 trying to stop it. At the time he was only doing it at home. Then he started at school. The teachers were like ' we think it's just a tactile thing and after 10 mins or so he calms down and stops'. Uh NO WAY JOSE! When I found this out I knew that we had to put our foot down. His teacher was very, very annoyed that we were so adamant about not letting him do this. We suggested that they find something else to 'stimiulate' him or whatever but there was no way this was going to continue. If he wasn't special needs would they just go along with it? No. This is inappropriate behavior, special needs or not. He would do this even at recess. They had to comply w/our wishes, we told him he wasn't allowed to do it anymore and gave him some substitutes (which he promptly ignored). We told him he could only do this in the privacy of his room. Now, suppose we went along w/the teachers and just let him go? This behavior would have taken place anywhere he felt like it -- in the classroom, on the bus, anywhere in public. He's now 15 years old. What do you think would happen if this were still going on?

My point is, you do not have the choice to just do nothing. Do the responsible thing and go to the principal. If the aids truly ignore it, they should be fired. Same goes for the teacher. If the principal does nothing, go to the superintendent. Go to whoever you need to but this needs to stop. NOW. The other parents need to know about it (personally I think the school should contact them) and these kids should be watched like hawks when school comes around in the fall. Good luck.

SoulBliss
06-16-2008, 06:39 PM
My point is, you do not have the choice to just do nothing. Do the responsible thing and go to the principal. If the aids truly ignore it, they should be fired. Same goes for the teacher. If the principal does nothing, go to the superintendent. Go to whoever you need to but this needs to stop. NOW. The other parents need to know about it (personally I think the school should contact them) and these kids should be watched like hawks when school comes around in the fall. Good luck.[/COLOR]Agreed.

As mandated reporters it is the Aide's DUTY BY LAW to report such activities to the authorities.

CPS conducts investigations for a reason.

If NOTHING untoward were found, then so be it but think of what it would feel like if it came out that abuse HAD been going on.

So, to answer the OP's question, I would do the right thing and contact the school counselor and principal and then follow up to make sure that this was handled appropriately.

I would also take my child to counseling to ensure that more didn't happen and to address it if it did, and to process his feelings about the event so there would be less of a chance of him having hangups about these issues later.

kittycat40
06-16-2008, 10:10 PM
IT WAS FABRICATED!!!

That is why I did not rush to authorities. (But, you are wrong in thinking I did nothing. I did tell the parents to talk to their own children.) I know what a poor witness a little child is. And I know MY child. And, yes, I myself have witnessed the issue back in prescool. That, I knew was fully true. I had no proof here. And yes, the original boy mentioned does indeed ask the other boys to pull down their pants but they refuse-- so the story currently goes.

And yes, I will consult a professional about MY OWN son.

And please, stop for a minute and think what damage could have been done if I went running and screaming for authorities.

PhotoChick
06-16-2008, 10:15 PM
And please, stop for a minute and think what damage could have been done if I went running and screaming for authorities.
Thank you thank you thank you thank you.

As someone who had to suffer through foster care and being a part of the system due to an overzealous youth minister at my church ... thank you.

People who say "contact child protective services" at the drop of a hat have likely never been IN child protective services. It's **** on earth. Being a foster child is ****. It's the worst **** I'd ever wish on a child next to true abuse. If there is a TRULY abusive situation going on, then yes, CPS is appropriate. If it's a bunch of kids playing with each others penises (PENIS - see .. it's not a bad word), then you're dooming a child to years of **** over something that you don't even know is a bad thing.

People need to think before they act. And know what the results of their actions should be.

.

SoulBliss
06-17-2008, 03:42 AM
And yes, I will consult a professional about MY OWN son. I am really happy you are consulting a professional for your own son.

And please, stop for a minute and think what damage could have been done if I went running and screaming for authorities.

I don't think your comment was addressed specifically to me (I am not taking it personally) but I just wanted to address the idea and say that bringing such things (even IF they are just stories) to the attention of the people in charge (staff, principal, school counselor) is an appropriate thing to do and does not constitute "running and screaming to the authorities". It empowers them, as trained professionals, to make a judgment call and take action as their educational expertise and ethical obligations dictate.

chickybird
06-17-2008, 06:20 AM
I agree, Soulbliss!
As a teacher to young children, we talk about what is okay and not okay to do. Kids who want to fondle themselves are told that that is something to do at home in their room. I don't tell them it's dirty or try to shame them. But.....I do document all incidents like that, I tell the nurse, counselor, and the parent, all in the same day! If it's something that looks questionable (like aggressive self-fondling, anything involving more than one kid, sexual play-acting with others or dolls) than I tell the principal, and all of the afore mentioned people. Yes, I react quickly. That's my job. I think any parent who has concerns should talk to the school personnel. If the parent doesn't get any answers, a phone call to the school administration people usually gets people jumping! Very young kids are very impressionable and easily persuaded. That's why we have parents and teachers that need to be involved. We don't need parents/teachers who "dismiss" it. Good for you for being so persistent in getting answers!

kittycat40
06-17-2008, 09:48 AM
There were two factors preventing me from immediatly going to school staff. First, my concern was that there was no time to complete a full investigation and this would be swept under the carpet (is it carpet or table-- not sure of cliche) and second, as most people raising or working with little children know-- they can be creative with the truth-- intentionally or not. I really wanted a viable witness to this.
My friend's son is a known truth teller. Mine, a known storyteller. When she probed her son and came back without corroberration.... I probed further and was able to elicit a more accurate version of what happened.

As this experience proves, it is OK to take time to evaluate circumstances before making grand accusations. But, no they cannot be dismissed.

Thank you all for your input. It is appreciated. :)