Report of sex in kindergarten investigated

The Patriot-News 11/23/02: Pete Shellem

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Harrisburg School District and county authorities are investigating allegations that a 5-year-old kindergarten girl performed oral sex on a male classmate in school last week.

City spokesman Randy King said the incident took place Nov. 15 in a classroom at Melrose Elementary School.

It wasn't clear yesterday where the teacher was at the time. She left a memo for the principal detailing the incident before she went on leave earlier this week and has yet to be interviewed. King said the teacher has a terminally ill relative and is out of town.

District officials learned of the incident after a classmate told her mother last weekend. The mother notified school district officials Monday, and they immediately launched an investigation.

Harrisburg police have turned the matter over to county social service agencies because of the age of the children.

There will be no criminal charges, King said, because of the children's age and because the act was not forced.

"However, Children and Youth Services will be investigating the matter," King said. "Children of this age who engage in such conduct don't necessarily get this from television."

The boy's mother contacted the news media yesterday, saying the school district was being unresponsive to her inquiries about the incident.

The mother, whose name is being withheld by The Patriot-News to protect the identity of the child, said that when the girl who performed the act was questioned, she admitted she had done it.

The mother said she wasn't immediately notified, and after she was, district officials told her the matter had been turned over to Dauphin County Children and Youth, told her to get her son counseling and refused to discuss it further.

She said she is concerned for her son as well as the girl, because she feels a child exhibiting such behavior may be being abused.

"This isn't kids fighting or cutting up in school," the mother said. "This is a serious matter."

District solicitor Nate Waters said that while the incident has been turned over to social service agencies, it is still not clear exactly what happened.

"Nobody that I have talked to has assured me that these things have happened," Waters said. "We don't want to keep on moving on with hearsay from 5-year-olds. We're currently attempting to contact the teacher and get some answers."

Waters said he doesn't doubt the incident took place.

"We're trying not to sensationalize 5-year-olds having sex," Waters said. "We don't want to alarm people who have 5-year-olds in classes all over the city.









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