If it happens at school...

cookie8February 7, 2009

Do you involve the schools? My son (gr 3) has learned some very explicit, sexual information from another classmate at lunch and recess time. I am getting mixed responses from friends - go straight to parents or go through the teacher. I do not know the parents myself. How would you handle it? How would you approach it? Can you tell this is my first real "dilemma" with him, any of them (3), really. Thanks.

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I would talk with the Principal. Explicit sexual conversation is 3rd degree sexual assault from a legal perspective. At least it was when my SD33 was molested as a child. The child involved is obviously being exposed to something that is not right. Yes I would involve the schools....they know what should be done and they are obligated by law to follow certain guidelines.

I have gone to the Principal of my daughters elementary school over inappropriate behavior from another student. They moved my daughter out of the class and what they did with the other child I do not know but they moved really quickly for my daughter.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 4:53PM
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I didn't even think of sexual assault. Now of course, it's all about the boy who "knows so much". Thinking further, the e-mail is going out to the teacher right now. I was just thinking of inappropriate behaviour but who knows where it stems from so it's probably better to go through the schools so it's out there and not hidden at someone's home. thanks. I hope it's nothing more than an older brother showing poor judgment and exposing a younger one to internet and/or movie garbage and nothing more than that. It's just so young. There is nothing in our home that would expose my children to this. I am happy that my son came home and told me about this information. He could have easily kept it to himself. I am concerned that he will refrain from telling me things next time as I am doing something about it because this is a good friend of his.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 5:28PM
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The male mind is very different from the female mind...you have heard that I'm sure. Males are visual creatures. An image that a boy or young man is exposed to stays in their memory for a very long time. That is why men become addicted to pornography so easily. I would not consider that an older brother showing poor judgement to be an minor thing. I think that if it was a sibling, that sibling is on very dangerous ground as well. That is one reason we have to watch our kids on the internet.

I would use this as an opportunity to talk with your DS about a very important subject. Let him know first of all how very proud you are of him for coming to you and that he did the right thing. He did a good thing for his friend too and his friend is very lucky to have your son as a friend. Tell him that what his friend is learning is not right and harmful to him. Use it as a pathway to what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior/touching/conversation etc. I wouldn't press too far about the friend and I wouldn't keep bringing up the subject but I would stress how proud you are of him and that he did the right thing. Let him know that you are always there for him if he has anything in the future like this or has any questions. Tell him that you and his dad are people that love him more than anyone and that he can trust you. I would tell him that there are things in this world that kids need to be protected from and this is one of them but you can't do that unless he tells you stuff.

What happens with his friend probably won't be talked about at school but may involve you and your son should it be a molestation situation. I would tell your DS that it isn't something that he should speak to other kids about. That it would be embarrassing for his friend if the kids talked about it at school. If authorities request that your son tell his story then I would cross that bridge if I came to it.

Because of the experience I had with my SD when she was young I started talking with my own kids early on. I would bring up the subject from time to time and ask them if they had anything that we needed to talk about or if they had any friends that had told them anything. I was not over baring with it but I was open with them and asked specific questions. I also watched carefully for behavior signs or language etc.

When it happened to my SD I knew. I even asked her point blank...." Did _______ touch you?" She told me no but I knew something had happened. I tried to alert my then DH, her father and he would not take it seriously....long story short....a couple of years later she told a friend at school, friend told the teacher, teacher reported it. I was right.

Let me know what happens and I'm proud of your little guy too.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 7:19PM
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I would go in and talk to the teacher face to face. She needs to know so she can respond appropriately and be aware. She might have already noticed some strange behavior in her classroom b/c of these conversations, and it will help her do what is best to hear from you. In our district, the policy makers are very particular about staff not using names in sensitive emails, so my kids' teachers would not email continue communicating by email over something like this. It would end up being a personal conversation anyway. To keep her from a tough spot, I would not put in an email. I'd just go in, make an appointment if I needed to so I knew it would be a convenient time for a sensitive discussion. I would tell her more for the protection of the other child than for my child's exposure to sexual information. That, I'd just handle with talk with my child. But if the other child got information as a result of some sort of abuse or inappropriate communication from an adult, I would feel awful not saying what I knew. The school staff is obligated to follow very strict procedures, without ever revealing your name as the one who reported this to them. Maybe the kid said something to other kids, whose parents are also speaking up, and the teacher/administrators needs to know as much as possible to be able to handle it right. I'd start with a conversation with the teacher, though.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 7:29PM
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When my DD had something happen in school I handled it by phone....not to say that a face to face isn't the best way to go.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 7:56PM
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I second what Stephanie in GA said. Go have a talk. It is a seriously disturbing matter and deserves their full attention. Face to face is the only way to have that.

May God bless your family and the families of those other children. Right information and attitude are life and death matters (aids, pregnancy, ability to know what is okay and what is inappropriate communication from others, breaching a verbal boundary is the first step to breaching a physical one, seriously it is very, very dangerous that he was treated that way) teaching your son that it is important that he came to you because you are there for him for his benefit on every subject is the way to go. Good for you for attending this as quickly as you can and for really hearing him when he speaks.

Listening to him helps assure that he he will stay aware of his own value. Many become desensitized and open to being victimized because no one hears them out. God bless you for protecting his ability to value himself.

May God bless those you speak to, giving them the ears to really hear you and the understanding and will to do confidently what is appropriate in His sight.

Those other kids would not be trying to teach your child that if they had not already lost sight of their own value. I pray God will turn their hearts away from what has hurt them so they can receive help.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 10:18AM
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You have gotten a lot of responses to your question already but I thought I would give you my experience.
We had a similar situation I learned that not all parents are worried about their kids talking about stuff like that. I went to the mom since I did know who she was and it continued. So I went to their teacher and she advised me to go to the principal or counselor at the school they could do more. The principal pulled the parents in over it. Needless to say I haven't heard anything else. I also explained to my daughter that those are conversations you should only be having with your parents and if you have questions ask us then left it alone. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 3:56AM
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I did initiate by e-mail. It's probably better for me as I get all my concerns up front and not forget anything in a phone call/person to person conversation. I will talk to the teacher this afternoon. Thanks for your input. I will let her handle the parents of the other individual as I was/am terrified to!! I know this other boy and he is a smart, good kid. This behaviour is only a couple of weeks old so hopefully it ends quickly.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 2:30PM
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