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Looking for advice. Was I assaulted?

 
 
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 06:52 am
Hi. I am a teacher at an elementary school here. I have been working this job for about 4 years now after graduating college. I actually have a master's in gender studies, but my undergrad degree allowed me a higher paying job as a teacher.

I've been concerned lately because one boy in my 1st grade class has done some alarming things. He has so much energy, and he is always running around. He answers questions a lot in class, even if they're the wrong answers. But last week he got stuck in the rope maze in our jungle gym. I had to pull him out to help him. While he was climbing out, he touched my breast on the the top of my tank top.

I just don't feel right about this. He shouldn't have done that. And nearer the beginning of the school year I remember him kissing a girl during recess, and the other children had made jokes about it. I didn't call the girl's parents, and I'm worried that I should have. I don't feel comfortable with this sort of behavior. I'm worried that maybe his parents have been bringing him up in an environment where they encourage misogyny. I'm not sure if I should get the authorities involved, but I don't want this behavior to continue. Not sure what I should do.
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Type: Question • Score: 11 • Views: 15,095 • Replies: 376
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jespah
 
  1  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 06:57 am
@whitebars,
I think you need to speak with HR or, barring that, the principal in the school. What's tolerated? How are things like this defined? Is there leeway or is it all zero tolerance (and as you know, zero tolerance policies can turn problematic rather quickly)?

Right now, this is an employment issue. Don't turn it into a legal/criminal/CPS one until you get the word from HR or the principal. If you won't get any support in this area, then it can be very difficult to go forward. I'm not saying that it's impossible, and it may even be the right thing to do, but being the Lone Ranger on such things can be a rather unpleasant experience.
PUNKEY
 
  5  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 08:03 am
You were helping a kid get out of a rope maze and he touched your breast? Not enough evidence it was sexually intentional, IMHO; but something you might want to file in your mind.

A first grader kissed a girl at recess? Not that unusual, if you ask me. But it's an opportunity to talk to both the girl and him about healthy boundaries.

He sounds like he may be precocious, hyper and doesn't know his boundaries. Not unusual for an 6-7-8 year old in this day.

What does the school psychologist say?

How are you coming to the conclusion that there is some misogynistic behavior from this child? Boys that age may ignore the adult woman's voice and authority, but hate them? Nah. If he has older sisters he may be acting out, too.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 08:09 am
@whitebars,
Assaulted by a six year old? Really? I don't know if this thread is true or not.

These kids are not that far from breastfeeding, breasts aren't sexual to them. If you think that a six year old incidentally touching your breast is sexual, its your issue not theirs.

This post is either ridiculous, or it is a joke, or it is a ridiculous joke.



ehBeth
 
  2  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 08:12 am
@whitebars,
Sounds like a pretty normal grade 1 kid.

If you find his behaviour alarming you should probably talk to other teachers (without telling them too much about the particular child) about what you can expect from 5 - 8 year olds.

Again - he sounds quite normal based on your description here.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 08:15 am
@maxdancona,
Agreeing with max (other than the sex year old bit Wink )
ehBeth
 
  4  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 08:16 am
@PUNKEY,
PUNKEY wrote:
A first grader kissed a girl at recess? Not that unusual, if you ask me.


50+ years ago (when I was in grade 1), I used to help a friend of mine catch a boy so she could kiss him. They got married 30 years ago.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 08:19 am
To anyone answering this thread sincerely, I ask you to think about how you would answer if the genders were reversed... i.e. a male teacher wondering if he was sexually assaulted by a 6 year old girl.

A first grade teacher is an adult, in a job with responsibility and authority, with six year old children. If they can't keep their own personal issues out of their interactions with their students, they shouldn't be doing this job.

If a teacher ever spoke this way about my daughter, I would insist that she be moved to another classroom right away.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 08:23 am
@ehBeth,
I just fixed that embarrassing typo ehBeth.... thanks.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 08:28 am
@ehBeth,
A couple of years ago, when I was picking up my daughter from the bus stop, the bus monitor (a nice, but slightly crazy lady in her 60's) told my daughter to stand aside and said "Mr. Dancona, we need to talk".

I was worried for a moment, until she told me that my daughter had kissed some boy on the ride home and that I was to make it clear to her that that type of behavior would not be permitted.

I thanked the bus lady, and then as the bus drove away I burst out laughing. I gave my daughter a hug, and told her it was silly... but that she should still listen to the bus lady.

My daughter and I still joke about it, I will tell her "No kissing on the bus!".
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 08:29 am
@maxdancona,
So in the reversed gender scenario - the girl touches the male teacher's chest?

I think I'd answer the same way as I did with the boy/female teacher scenario. I think the young teacher needs to understand more about normal child development.

The breast-feeding scenario Punkey mentioned could come into play, which might make it a teeny-tiny bit different, but not significantly. My best friend breast-fed her oldest child til she was nearly 10 (a bit out of my comfort zone, but not my business) - but her kids were extraordinarily well-trained about whose bodies they could touch in what ways.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 08:36 am
@ehBeth,
A male teacher could say a girl touched his butt. Or the kid touching this female teachers breast could be a girl. These are six year olds. I don't think it matters.

My concern is that this teacher has issues that she is projecting onto these kids. Suggesting that a 6 year old boy might be "misogynistic" suggests to me that this teacher is bringing her own issues into this classroom in a way that is not good for her students.

She has a responsibility to this boy. His parents trust her to provide him with a safe, caring, space to start his education. If she is already putting her issues on him, how can she possibly do this?

I would not want my kids in her class.

ehBeth
 
  2  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 08:47 am
@maxdancona,
I find it odd that someone could make it through an education program without learning about child development stages. Makes me wonder if the OP is a put-on of some sort.

You couldn't pass a developmental psych course and still have questions like that.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 08:54 am
@ehBeth,
I am showing an extreme amount of restraint about her other degree Wink . (I hope someone appreciates that).

When I first read the thread, I thought it might be a joke.

ehBeth
 
  2  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 09:03 am
@maxdancona,
It reads like a thread someone like nono's alter might start.
0 Replies
 
Eliusa
 
  0  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 09:14 am
Lil rascal must be put to sleep. Who knows if he will grow up to be a serial...breast toucher!
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 10:19 am
This whole thing sounds like a setup. First there is the extraneous information in the OP saying "I actually have a master's in gender studies, but my undergrad degree allowed me a higher paying job as a teacher." Nice slam on gender studies there. Then there is the ridiculous story about the rope maze and finally there is the silly "I'm worried that maybe his parents have been bringing him up in an environment where they encourage misogyny." I don't think this is nono's alter, I think it is one of his allies.
0 Replies
 
whitebars
 
  1  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 05:07 pm
@jespah,
I'm not sure what I think about some of these comments. A lot of them seem pretty disrespectful and borderline insulting to me. Your comment seems the most respectful to me. I don't know much about this website, I found it during a random search.

At the school I work at, we have a zero tolerance policy for sexual behavior. I'm worried because I didn't report any of this. If higher ups find out I could face disciplinary action, including possible termination. If I were to go to the authorities first, it could possibly soften any disciplinary action from the school that might happen. But more than that, these incidents have just made me feel uncomfortable. I've spoken privately to several other people about this, and consensus has been that this sort of behavior among young boys is becoming too common. Boys are raised within a culture that positively reinforces them for sexualizing women at an early age. That's part of why there is so much misogyny. It's become so commonplace.

But really I felt very uncomfortable when he touched my breast. It was not something I would tolerate from other people. And when he kissed that girl, I just knew something was happening. I don't like the idea of that young girl feeling uncomfortable in the way that I and other women with similar experiences have felt.
whitebars
 
  1  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 05:21 pm
@maxdancona,
I find your comments very unfortunate.

That you would make jokes about something as serious as sexual assault is scary.

It's also very troubling that you would make a comparison to a male teacher saying that he had been assaulted. What you're doing with that comment is making light of sexual assaults on females. The truth is that sexual assaults is something that very rarely ever happens to men. But women are assaulted regularly. It's a very serious problem in society. 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetimes.

I don't like your attitude towards victims of sexual assault, and I fear that you are a misogynist.
ehBeth
 
  5  
Fri 19 Dec, 2014 05:39 pm
@whitebars,
Did you skip all of the classes on healthy sexual development while you were studying to be a teacher? Seriously.

The behaviour you have described by the male child is normal if he is between about 4 and 7 years of age.

I wouldn't want a child in one of your classes if this is your reaction to normal behaviour.
 

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