2nd Graders Engaging in Sex Acts in School: Experts Weigh In
posted at 12:45 pm on January 27, 2011 by Howard Portnoy
An investigation into allegations that a second grade teacher stood by and watched as two of his tender-aged charges performed oral sex on each other while others were naked in the classroom continues apace. The latest information to be released is that the teacher, whose identity has yet to be disclosed, is male. The Oakland Unified School District further notes that the man has been placed on paid administrative leave; he has not been suspended, as first reported.
While the details continue slowly to emerge, experts in the areas of early childhood education and child health have begun to sound off. Some, like Marilisa Kinney Sachteleben, are suggesting that the events that took place at Markham Elementary School may be more innocent than they appear. Sachteleben, whose credentials include a quarter century of experience teaching grades K through 8, writes:
Some children will … ‘disrobe’ whenever they are overheated after physical education class or recess. Other children who find this behavior tedious and annoying may report that ‘so and so keeps taking his clothes off.’ The Markham Elementary School incident reporting ‘children running naked’ very likely stemmed from an incident like this, rather than any inappropriate behavior.
Sachteleben further comments that the cloakroom, where the sex acts supposedly took place, is separate from the classroom and that children as early as preschool have carte blanche to enter the cloakroom unattended. Sachteleben’s point is that the teacher, whom she describes as “spoken of positively by parents,” may have been “unaware of either incident,” as he has claimed. Somehow, the fact that preschoolers might be free to roam about outside the eyeshot of their teacher is disturbing in and of itself.
In her article Sachteleben shares the opinions of Dr. James Crawford-Jakubiak, Medical Director for the Center for Child Protection at Oakland Children’s Hospital, who states that oral sex among 7-year-olds is “profoundly not normal.” The doctor is also quoted as saying that children at this age have no real understanding of sex acts.
The “experts” at Planned Parenthood disagree. On their website, under the heading “What Do Children Need to Know by Ages 5–7?” they provide a list of bullet points that include:
- that all people, including our parents and grandparents, are sexual;
- that … sexuality at all ages;
- that people experience sexual pleasure in a number of different ways;
- that everyone has sexual thoughts and fantasies and that having them is normal.
One has to wonder whether the kiddies at Markham Elementary have been reading the Planned Parenthood website. Or whether their teacher has.